Monday, March 20, 2017

How I Use Social Media

At times I find myself running around in circles here on the blog and in my social media. Chatting a little bit here and a little bit there. Publishing a blog post, dropping a picture in my IG feed, answering a request on Facebook and replying to a sweet message in my email inbox. It can get quite confusing as of where I spoke to who and what was said on which platform.

In the old days when I only did the blog, it was easier. It was only one place where I shared my stories and pictures. Only one room to have conversations in. It was pretty straight forward. I woke up in the morning, checked my inbox, read the new comments and messages and replied. Easy peasy. But it is not like that anymore and the flow of information, messages and conversation here and there, and everywhere (Dr Seuss...) has made me want to reflect upon my habits on How I Use Social Media.

Inspired by the Blogging Your Way course that I am currently taking, I look at this as a spring clean of my social media habits and I have broken it all down in hope to find a way of structuring myself a little bit better. I also want to invite you to take part of the discussion and tell me about your habits and what works for you. It would be so helpful for me and I know you are full of advice, tips and tricks for me to take part of. So, I'm curious to know:

• How do you communicate and connect in social media?
• What is your favorite platform?
• When do you communicate?
• How much time to you spend on connecting online?

My quick answer to the above is that I blog, use Instagram and Facebook and I'm intrigued and curious about podcasts, although I'm not really watching any crafty podcasts yet. I also use Pinterest but not very often. I have never tweeted on Twitter and will never do. It is just not my thing.

I love all my platforms for different reasons:

MY BLOG is my kitchen, the heart of all my social media. This is where real conversation and sharing takes place. Kick your shoes off (or keep them on for that matter), sit down, get comfortable and have a coffee. Lets laugh, cry and get really serious... or not. Let me show you my latest project! You can stay for as long as you want to. I'm delighted to have you visiting.

MY INSTAGRAM is when I bump into you on the street. Sometimes just to say hi because I'm in a rush, but sometimes we stop for a while and share some phrases about weather, the weekend or what's up. In any situation it keeps me up to date with what you have on your agenda, what project you're working on, where your travels are taken you and how your season changes. It is also my greatest marketing tool. By far.

MY FACEBOOK is a link in between my followers and my blog. It's a news feed informing you when new blog posts are up and I also share pictures from my Instagram there, to keep you in the loop. I find it very easy to have conversations on my Facebook page and I have a loyal crowd of ladies I chat with regularly. It would be lovely to meet them all one day.

MY PINTEREST is a sleeping beauty. I never really got into this pinning thing, as I always feared I would fall into the rabbit hole of pinning away hours of my life instead of living it. However, I do use Pinterest as a search engine, inspiration tool and a place to look at beautiful things and I should probably look over my boards and start using it more frequently from a business point of view.

I FOLLOW PEOPLE mainly through one of their platforms, or maybe two. I might follow a person on her blog, Instagram and Facebook, but hardly ever do I actively VISIT all those platforms. I would say that I on first hand check their Instagram account, secondly their Blog and rarely ever their Facebook page. I feel that one is either an Instagram lover or a Facebook follower. A little bit like "coffee or tea" or "PC or Mac", you just happen to like one media more than the other, and I just happen to be an IG girl.

THE TIME I SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA varies. I check my own blog every day (comments, replying, stats etc). I read a couple of blog posts a day from my collection of favorite bloggers, but I don't read everything every day. When I started doing Instagram I checked it at least 20 times a day. Today I can even skip a day or two but most of the time I check it in the morning, at lunch and in the evening or when I myself decide to publish something. I also check my Facebook on a daily basis and respond to comments. I only visit Pinterest a few times a month for the above mentioned reason.

Would you like to hear more about How I Use Social Media, and if so, what would you like to know? It is all about finding balance and not letting online life take over. At the same time I am a small business owner and a part of my business is to be social online... It is a tricky one and I'm looking forward to hear your input on this.


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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Bubbles - the simple toy

I have fallen into all the trap too many times. Bought big expensive toys. Doll houses, electric cars, pirate ships with extra everything, the BIGGEST box of Pet Shops... Every Christmas and every birthday I have battled the pressure of buying something BIG. Something EXPENSIVE. Something OUTSTANDING. Something OVER THE TOP! And the stuff piles up on shelves and in boxes after a few days or weeks of use, never to be touched again... That poor little battery dog who barked, wiggled her tail and sat down... That Star Wars helmet which is just big and ugly and never really worked well with the built in microphone... But it isn't just in preparation for the big gift days that I feel this way.

We go to the grocery store and the nagging and begging starts at the toy shelf. "Please, please, please..." Only one more Pet Shop (to add to the bucket with a million others), only one more Hot Wheels car (to add to any surface, any place, any where in the house to be stumbled upon). Only one more ANYTHING. But I say no. I do. I say NO. Instead I grab some bottles of bubbles and put in my cart, to no ones delight I should add, until we get home and my children - big and small - go outside with their bubbles, and the fun is so incredibly intense. Blowing bubbles, small and big. Many. Merging them, catching them, chasing them. "Mama! Mama! Come and see! We have made the biggest bubble ever! It is bigger than Luca's head!!!"

Bubbles. What a winner. If I only had been smarter all these years and just given bubbles... Think about all the agony I would have saved myself... Think about all the money I would have saved. And think about all those hours of fun my kids would have had with such a simple toy. When it comes down to it - nothing beats simplicity.

PS Did you know that playing with bubbles actually is VERY good for your child. It helps developing fine motor, gross motor and oral motor skills, it helps with speech, with coordination and much much more. Read more here.

PS 2
My son Luca, who was born with a cleft palate, received an ordination from his doctor at a young age to play with bubbles. Through the years it has been a lot of bubble play to stimulate nerves and muscles around his mouth and lips for better movement and flexibility. Read more about Luca and his cleft palate journey here and here.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blogging Your Way Course To New Inspiration

So this is where I sit. Lately I've been sitting in front of my computer a lot. Taking notes and making mind maps. Listing things and executing things. I'm studying. Online. It is intense and incredibly fun. The sun is going down outside my window and I light a candle to get some "hygge" feeling.

Have you ever done a blog course? I have. And I am doing it again, because you always learn something new about yourself, you set new goals as a blogger and you discover some nitty gritty stuff you didn't know before. And you get inspired. I am so inspired!!!

I am taking a Blogging Your Way online course with Holly Becker at Decor8. It is an inspiration course with focus on Blogging and Social media. As you all know, 2016 was not a great blog year for me and I was so close to give it all up (read about it here) but I stuck it through, and I really want to protect my space and keep on having this corner of Cyber World that I share with you. And that is why I am taking this course. To re-discover my blogging mojo and all that joy it brings. Because the best thing you can do when being stuck, is to educate yourself to move forward.

I've done courses with Holly before. In 2012 I did a Basic BYW e-course, but the timing was so bad that I couldn't attend very much. Two years later I signed up for a new blog course for experienced bloggers called Blog Boss, and enjoyed it immensely (read about it here).
Holly's courses are so good. She is the most lovely and captivating teacher and she feels like a good friend in the virtual class room. She is very generous, personal and on point with the information she shares, which makes her trust worthy. She knows what she is talking about. She is an expert and she doesn't hide anything from you, quite the opposite - she gives you all the tools you need to become  a successful blogger. But... You get what you put in. You work hard and you will see results. You make the course happen for you. If you throw yourself in there to connect, engage and really get to the point with your homework, you will walk out with your head up high and an inspiration overload.

This last week has been intense and lots of self discovery and examining work has been done. My head is already full of inspiration and you can expect some posts about blogging and social media showing up here in the near future. Watch this space for some blogging conversation. And crochet... of course. I just have to share my Granny Cardigan progress... See you around.


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