Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adding Instagram to your Blog {Blogging for Idiots}

I have been blogging for 3 months now.  I did not take a class or have anyone to help.  It was me and google university.  Therefore, if I can do it, SO CAN YOU!  For my next couple of post I am going to show you how to make small changes to your blog to make it look amazing!  So at least you will look like you know what your doing :)

First things first..... Instagram.  It's the latest and greatest craze!!  So why not add those fabulous pictures to your blog?  What I am going to show you is how to create the Instagram widget so that you can add the coding for the widget to your blog.  Sounds technical?  YES.  Don't let the lingo scare you, its a piece of cake!

1.  Go to, {<--- just click here} and this should pop up.

2.  Enter in all your info.  Here is the detail of what each one means.  However, play around with it.  You won't mess it up and you can ALWAYS start over.

Username OR Hashtag:
{A helpful hint --> Make sure your Instagram profile is on "public" otherwise, your preview of the widget will not show up. To change your settings you must login to your Instagram and change them there.}  You can have your pictures show up for your screen name OR for a certain hashtag but NOT both!  However, if you are savvy....  You can create two separate widgets.  For example, one for your username then create an entirely separate one for a certain hashtag (which would mean repeating all the steps again).

Widget Type: {This is personal preference.}

  • Grid - is going to show your pictures in block format lined up like a grid.  You can choose the amount of pictures you want going across and down.
  • Slideshow - will only show one picture at a time but it will continuously change.
  • Map - is a new feature to Instagram this week.  If you also use foursquare along with Instagram.  Now you can have a map with all your pictures "pinned" to their location by whatever GPS coordinates were used to tag the picture.  If you choose this option only pictures that were tagged with GPS will show up on your map.  You must also have accepted the newly request to add the map option on your Instagram account.
Thumbnail Size:
This is going to depend on where you are placing the widget on your screen for starters I would just stick with the 100 px (default) and see how it places on your blog.  The larger the "px" number the larger your picture is going to be.

Food for thought......
  • My sidebar is 250 px (this is the width) and if each picture is 100 px and I want two pictures side by side then 100 px per picture is perfect for my blog.
  • If I was going to do a slideshow on my sidebar, I would change the size to 200 px.  Since I was only going to have one picture showing at a time.

This option is only if you choose the "GRID" option above.  Otherwise, this option will not show up.  This allows you to choose how many pictures you want to show up horizontally and vertically on your Instagram grid.

Photo Border:
If you use the exact same filter (photo effect) on all your Instagram picture then I wouldn't see a need for this option.  However, most people choose different filters meaning some of the pictures have borders and some don't.  To make your grid or slideshow look more consistent click YES.

Background Color:
If you have a specific color that you use for all your widgets then by all means enter it here.  Otherwise leave it blank.

Photo Padding:
This is the amount of space around the outside of each picture.  If you want more space then increase the number however, I think 5 is perfect.  If you think so to move on!

Hoover Effect:
When someone places their cursor/mouse over your photo it can do one of three things.  1. nothing 2. fade in {I don't suggest} or 3. fade out {this make it look like it's a link and you can click on it}  So choose either, option 1 or 3.

3.  Once you have previewed your widget and you like what you see. Simply click "GET CODE" and something similar to this should pop up.  Highlight ALL the information in the gray box then copy it.

4.  Log in to your blog.  Go to "Layout" and click "Add a Gadget"

5.  An "Add a Gadget" box such as this will pop up.  Scroll down until, "HTML/JavaScript"

Click the small blue plus sign box or the title on the gadget that says --->"HTML/JavaScript"

6.  Paste the information that you copied originally into the empty box. {add a title if you like i.e. Instagram}  Then click "Save".

7.  Last step, click "Save Arrangement".

You can easily move your widget around.  All you have to do is click on the widget in the screen pictured above and while clicking it, drag it to the new destination then release.

Congratulations!  You just added Instagram to your blog!  I told you it was easy!  What else do you want now?
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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hollywood {inspiration}

Did you know that the original Hollywood sign in L.A. read "Hollywoodland"?  
Did you know that as it was falling to pieces nine thoughtful souls donated money to restore each letter?  

What an inspiring story....  The landmark was originally created in 1923 to encourage land sales for a development in Los Angeles known as Hollywoodland.  The 45 foot tall, 350 feet long letters overlook the "cinema district" of California.  After 55 years of deterioration the much loved sign was falling apart due to age, vadalism and other unfortunate events.  One letter at a time, 9 people donated and raised money to save the sign.

Following the 1978 public campaign to restore the sign, the following nine donors gave $27,777 each (which totaled $250,000):

  • H – Terrence Donnelly – publisher of the Hollywood Independent Newspaper
  • O – Giovanni Mazza – Italian movie producer
  • L – Gene Autry – singer, actor and businessman
  • D – Thomas Pooley — donated in the name of Mathew Williams

When the renovations took place it was decided to remove the "LAND" and leave the Hollywood since the sign and it's location was a landmark for todays pop culture.  After a lot of money was swapped (of which Hugh Hefner donated a million bucks) the surrounding land was bought and is owned today by a Public Land Trust. 

For more info and where I got mine.... Click here!
For more awesome pics..... Click here!

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Blowing Rock, NC {roadtrip}

I have been "missing in action" due to a family trip to Blowing Rock with close friends.  It was refreshing, YES!!  However, I am not a fan of limited cell service and no internet.  No 'mam, not this girl.  So needless to say I am thankful for the "R + R" but glad to be back to my technological world at home.

Moments worth sharing.....

1.  Grandfather Mountain {a.k.a. "Father Bear Mountain" to a certain 3 year old}

Never say, never.  Every time I have said it, I ALWAYS insert my foot into my mouth.  I am petrified of heights.  I mean scared to death.  As I stated, from the beginning of the trip, "I will NOT cross the swinging bridge".  After exploring the mountain and all its facilities for 45 minutes.  I crossed the "Swinging Bridge" at "Father Bear" Mountain.  It's a huge accomplishment for this scaredy cat!!  Here is a pic just to prove it!!

I was very disappointed that I didn't receive a shirt that read "I survived the Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain." :(

2.  Daniel Boone {carved tree + Daniel Boone Inn}

We all know Daniel Boone roamed the mountains of North Carolina, so he deserves a spot on my list.  For two reasons, one being in the museum at Grandfather Mountain there is a really cool replica of a tree trunk that was found by a man riding horseback through GF Mountain.  In the trunk was carved "D Boon Killed A Bar O This Tre 1775".  Hence, one of the reason why the black bear is Grandfather Mountains attractions.
English: Signature of Daniel Boone.
English: Signature of Daniel Boone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My second reason for including Daniel Boone is because of the inspiration of the Daniel Boone Inn.  If you have the pleasure of going to Boone, NC, you ABSOLUTELY have to eat at the Daniel Boone Inn.  Family style dining and worth the wait.  Bring your own ziploc bag, so you can take home their country ham biscuits.  It's a sin for them to go to waste and No! they don't have "to go" plates.   Get there early and don't forget cash or a checkbook.  No credit cards accepted.  

3.  Take Heart + Bless Your Heart {shopping}

For the past 5 years or so we have been taking our kids to Tweetsie RR in Boone, NC.  We always pass this flower shop with a yard full of breathtaking flowers right next to an eye catching little shop with the most appealing door and window awnings called Bless Your Heart.  Finally after years of wanting to stop I did.  It has become my "go to" shop every time, we go to the mountains.  It's one of those shops you fall in love with because it matches you personality to a tee.

Found the most beautiful addition to my dining rooms walls this past visit.
On a side note, I have ALSO been obsessed with this little shop on Main Street in Blowing Rock called Take Heart.  It's the sweetest little house turned into a whimsical shop that I just adore going in.  I am very serious when I say you will feel blessed and happy when you leave.  It is elegant and lovely inside and always has the friendliest staff.  If you need inspiration it won't take long to find loads, in this quant, little store.  There are affirmation and quotes "stuck" and "nailed" everywhere.  About 2 years ago they were giving out free sample of cupcakes.  {I am a major cupcake critic.}  However, I gave it a shot and it was the BEST cupcake I have ever eaten in my entire life.  No joke.
Well, me and my nosy self found out both Bless Your Heart and Take Heart are owned by the same woman.  She was not at either shop when I visited however, she deserves kudos for impeccable style.  If you are at the mountain, please stop in a visit you will not be disappointed.

Find them on Facebook....  Take Heart  +  Bless Your Heart

4.  Moses Cone Manor {sightseeing + hiking}

If you are in search of "wide open spaces" then Moses Cone is a good choice.  Located in Blowing Rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway, they have 3,500 acres of trails to walk and hike.  You can also ride horseback as well as fish in one of the two, bass and trout lakes.  The lakes are surrounded with winding trails all around it, you can easily spend a day taking in the scenery.  Or like us an hour or two, with little ones.  The Manor and Horse Stable are a lost art in themselves, they just don't build 'em like these anymore.
I hope you enjoyed a few of our memories and are as blessed as us to make your own.

What are some of your favorite spots in North Carolina Mountains?
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Monday, August 13, 2012

VB + Glamour {inspiration}

September 2012 Issue, Glamour

If you haven't bought it!  Run to your newsstand!  It's my favorite Glamour issue, yet.

Why, you ask?

Victoria Beckham, guest editor, of course!!  It is filled with her personality and style from front to back.  My favorite part its the extra covers at the beginning of the magazine and her personal confession inside as to why she never smiles for the camera.  As you can tell she is my girl crush not to mention her husband is on the list.

Out of all the fashion gurus, VB is my favorite.  I absolutely lust over her wardrobe (especially her signature double leather belt).  All I can say is, she must have one hell of a PR person to make it from a Spice Girl to one of the most covenanted style starters and fashion designers in less than 15 years.  That is an accomplishment!

My Top 5, why you should rush out and grab it!

1.  VB's bonus covers are fabulous
2.  Enter the Fall Fashion Giveaways!
3.  100's of Do's & Don'ts of fashion
4.  New blog ideas & fresh reads
5.  A British spin on Glamour
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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How to make a Lemonade Stand {DIY}

Pinterest Project #2 {We'll kinda...}

Kids have been selling lemonade on the side of the road for over 130 years.  {Seriously... Check it out here!}  
We didn't steal our DIY project from anywhere although, we did look to Pinterest for some inspiration.  Here's what we found.

We started with 2 pallets and 2 seafood boxes.  
The seafood boxes we didn't put together, we left them flat to use as the outside of the stand.

Tools Needed
{no man required}
Hammer {I used 2 however, I crowbar would have been helpful}
Screw-In Hooks
Extra Nails
Paint & Brushes

First things, first.  As you can see above pictured.  I stacked the seafood boxes and bent their side to form the "stand".  I did this so I could measure the height and width of the stand.  I also had excess on one side of each the seafood boxes which I cut off {using the wire cutters and I put them to the side as we will later use them as signs.}  While I started sawing pallets, I went ahead and let the kids paint the sign and seafood cartons.

I pryed off the inside slats of wood on the top portion of the pallets to use as the table part of the stand.  I left the far right slat, far left and the center slat.  {For example, most pallets have 7 top slats. Therefore, I removed slats 2 + 3 and 5 + 6}  As these are a part of the legs as you can see.  After I measured the height of the stand {from stacking the seafood boxes} I measure this the same height off on the pallets and cut 4 legs.  I literally sawed the pallet into parts to get 4 legs.  So when you look at your pallets make sure you don't remove the top slats that have connecting parts in the middle as well as connecting slats on the opposite side for these will be your legs.

After, I got all four legs done.  I used small tack nails to connect the seafood boxes to the outside of the legs.  Then I used the solid top portion of the legs to hammer in the top slats to make the table portion of the stand.  I attached the front two slats.

So this is what we have so far.....

Then I attached a vertical piece of wood to the back two legs which I will later attach the lemonade sign.  Then attached the last two remaining top slats to finish the table top.  With some of the leftover wood I attached it to the inside for some stability.

With the leftover seafood top and bottom as well as the portion we cut off, with a little paint we made these into signs.  We have an open, closed and treats signs.  Hang your signs with your hook wherever you want them.  With the top and the bottom of the seafood boxes I used some leftover wood, cut an angle on one end of the wood then nailed it to the back and it made a perfect directional sign.

Mom made, Kid approved!

I had no idea how this was going to turn out since we went into it with no plan.  However, I do think it is so cute!!  All it needs now is some fresh flowers in a vase, some lemonade, sweet treats and 2 well rested kids to man the booth!!  We are all exhausted and well save those steps for another day.

All in a days work......

Even though the weather looked like rain.  We took a chance brought an umbrella off the porch and went to work.  Zoe cut flowers to "fancy" up our booth.  Jax tasted the product to make sure it was up to par.  And a day that started as a "wash" of a days work, turned out to be a beautiful afternoon.

We had our very first customer our sweet neighbor, Mrs. Sue!  After about 1.5 gallons of lemonade, Jax was exhausted.  It is apparent that he needs to be the "supervisor".

Thanks to everyone that stopped by to support my kiddos in the endeavor!!  Especially, Aunt Ashley who slaved for 2 days with us :).

They will be setup again this Saturday!  So stay tuned in.  I will have their "operating hours" on Facebook.  So be sure to follow me!

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