With everything that has been going on in my life lately, I really needed to have a re-think about blogging. I still enjoy blogging. It's good therapy for me, but I decided I needed to strip my blog back to just what I needed it to be, so I gave it a little makeover.
I created a new header. I am no photo editing genius, I just used Picasa and followed the instructions at Blissfully Domestic.
I realise everybody has a different way of following blogs. Over the past year my reading list in Blogger had become so large that I was missing posts from some of my favourite blogs. I did a bit of pruning to my reading list (sorry) and made sure I put most of my favourites on the blog roll down the right hand side of my page, so I don't loose them.
I kept different ways for other people to follow this blog if they want to - Google Friend Connect, Blog Lovin', email, and rss feeds. (I had no idea how many people use email to follow. I found my email subscribers by going to my feedburner.com account - Hello! I didn't realise you were there.)
Following is a funny thing.
I love reading other people's blogs and I hope that people like some of my posts. If you want to follow - great, if not that's fine too. I blog because it makes me feel good. In fact what I wrote in my first post, still stands true. Whenever I'm feeling a little down about my home, I look back on the blog posts I've written in the past 12 months and I can see how far I've come. I'm grateful for that and I've made some lovely blog friends along the way.
I got rid of some stuff on my blog. I don't need to know what my ranking is on Blog Top Sites etc... I blog for me. I don't have a shop or etsy store. I don't have sponsors or advertisers. I'm not a nuff nang blogger, nor do I run competitions or giveaways. There is NOTHING wrong with any of this. Some bloggers work really hard and deserve financial reward, and I LOVE some of the online shops and etsy stores run by bloggers. It's just that my blog's just for fun so I don't want to look at statistics.
What I do love to do is pin. It was the perfect distraction for me when I was waiting for my MRI results. So I added a pinterest rss feed to the right side margin so you can see what my latest pinning phase is. If you hover over the pictures, they get bigger so you can see them properly. To add a pinterest feed to your blog, follow the instructions at Code It Pretty. If you scroll down through the comments you'll see I was a bit of a wally and couldn't work out how to do it!
I also added an Instagram feed. This is part of where the getting naked comes into it. I am a pretty down to earth kinda girl, but I'm one of those people who likes things to look nice ... a little bit stylish. My kids always say - 'Mum you're a little bit posh'. That's where the name Stylish Settings came from. I guess it might sound a little bit stuck up. Anyway what I like about instagram is that it's photos of your 'real' life. I've gotten to know other people better by seeing their instagram photos and I thought if I braved it and shared some of my real world, you might get to know me a little better too.
To add the instagram feed, Beth from A Welsh Girl In Australia wrote a good post and then helped me add the follow me button. Thanks Beth.
OK - as for these two. I set them up a while ago, and I'll leave them as they are. They are synced to my blog so new posts appear. If you follow blogs by one of these methods you'll see mine right at the bottom of the side bar. I tried following people on Facebook but when you have a blog facebook account it's hard to 'like' things and comment - or at least blondie here couldn't work it out? As for twitter - I got so sick of reading tweets for giveaways and promotions that I stopped reading them. Maybe I'll work out a way around that?
Finally I added a Print It button to the bottom of the page. You can see how to do that at Print Friendly. I hate it when you want to print up some step by step instructions or a recipe and you have to print pages of ads and comments.
So that's it. My longest ever blog post, and a fresh new look.
Now if anybody knows how to turn off the Google Friend Counter so it shows nothing rather than the number of followers, I'd be grateful if you could tell me how to do it.
Finally here I am - not hiding behind sunglasses!