I went self hosted!

I am SO excited to announce that I am now officially self hosted. I’m still learning it and working out a few kinks, but all my old posts, pages, comments and pictures are now migrated. I have set up a redirect, but if you’re not already on my new website, please visit me to see all new posts and keep up with me at:

http://www.notesfromanewlywed.com

Thanks!

P.S. And watch for a post next week on my new site about how I did it!

Project Pinterest Clean Up

Pinterest is both a blessing and a curse. It gives you so much inspiration and great ideas, but it can also set you up for unrealistic expectations and make you feel like a giant failure. To me, Pinterest is more helpful than not, but it can also be overwhelming. I’ve found some amazing recipes on it and easy and useful DIY projects, plus some super cute animal photos.

pinterest screenshotBut my boards were all amess. I just pinned whatever I wanted without much thought. My boards weren’t very well thought out, and some were far too full of useless pins in bizarre categories. I don’t even know how many total pins I had in my recipes board, but it seemed like I had to scroll for days just to reach the end. And when I wanted to make “that one recipe,” it was so hard to find.

Enter New Year Resolution: project Pinterest. I tackled this resolution first because it seemed easy and achievable. First, I renamed existing boards and added more boards. The prior “Food & Drink” board was split into two – Recipes to try, and Recipes tested and approved. I moved all the recipes that I had made AND enjoyed (yes, some were total fails) into the tested and approved board. Now I can much easier find that ones I have already made that I know I will want to make again. All the recipes I made that were fails, I just deleted so they stop taking up space. I also deleted several recipe pins that I know I will never actually make.

I also had a “Style” board that had pins of clothing I liked, makeup and hair pictures/tutorials, and beauty tips like making DIY bronzer. Then I had a “For the home” board that had cleaning tips, DIY crafty projects, cleaning tips, organization inspiration, and random products that I want to buy like a giant cat beanbag, and tips on how to leave a more frugal life. What a hodgepodge, and several pins overlapped categories. So I made more subcategory boards where everything made more sense and would be easier to find for later.

A few boards remained relatively untouched, like my cute cats board, though I did go in and delete just a few photos that were only mildly cute. I don’t actually look at that board often, aside from when I need a dose of something to perk me up. My criteria for what made the cut here was if I had a genuine smile, chortle or ‘aww’ after looking at it again.

I also rearranged all the boards order so my most frequently pinned and used boards were first.

I found that cleaning up your Pinterest is a lot like cleaning up your closet. It can be hard, and you want to hoard some, but deep down you know that “just in case” actually means “I’m never going to use this,” so you have to go with your gut and sometimes have a heavy hand. But the end result is so worth it.

Pins are easier to find and my boards make much more sense. It feels good to clean up, even virtually. Next up: my physical closets. Oh boy.

I Never Believed in Santa. So What?

I’m going to air some grievances here. While reading my digest of newlywed blogs this morning, I came across one that I will respectfully not name, that for the first time, offended me. Everyone is entitled to their own feelings and beliefs, but what I don’t like is when it feels like someone is telling me that mine are not as good.

Here’s the deal: I never believed in Santa. As a child, my mom told me that Santa wasn’t real, but that lots of my friends and other kids believe in him, so I shouldn’t ruin anything for them, but it was important to her that I knew the truth. It was nothing against the jolly fake man. I think it was mostly because she just didn’t want to build this guy up so much then leave me crushed when I found out the truth later. It also may have had something to do with knowing that the presents I received were from my family members and friends, not some dude from the North Pole. I don’t really know her real reasons though, but that’s my guess. I should ask her some day.

The thing is, I don’t feel like it affected my childhood in any way. I still got photos at the mall on Santa’s lap, watched Christmas movies, we still did plenty of other Christmas traditions like making cookies, singing and decorating the tree. So I had plenty of other magical, fun things to believe in and give the holiday some spirit. Santa did not take anything away from my childhood.

So I did take offense to this blog post today that ranted and raved about how awful it is for parents to ruin Christmas by telling their kids Santa wasn’t real. She went on and on and was so worked up over it. To each their own I say. You belived in him, a lot of people did, but that doesn’t give reason to place your judgments on others who had a different experience. Maybe I think it’s weird that you DO believe in him, but I’m not going to make a big deal out of it.

A comment the author made later on another comment explained that she wrote in a heat-of-the-moment emotion fest, but that she still stuck to her feelings that she thinks it’s sad that kids wouldn’t believe in Santa and that she thinks it’s out of our society’s trying to be politically correct. I think that it has nothing to do with that. It just wasn’t a big deal. And it’s certainly not sad.

I’m not sure if I will tell my own kids about Santa. I don’t think there’s much harm either way, so we’ll see I guess. But Santa aside, isn’t the most important part of Christmas spending time with those you love, making memories and remembering the true meaning of Christmas? I think so. Whatever your beliefs are.

My Furbabies

A big part of my life, outside of being a newlywed, is my pets. I’ve had animals around my whole life and couldn’t imagine it any other way. My crew right now includes a dog named Brick and two cats, Captain and Little Girl. They sure do keep my life interesting. Brick and Little Girl are usually in some kind of mischief, sometimes together, while Captain is an old soul and prefers to spend his time napping. Playing for him involves casually and slowly reaching out his paw to a nearby toy. That’s it. No batting, no chasing, just holding. That takes a lot of energy though, so after that strenuous workout, he has to nap again.

I will admit it. I play favorites. Captain is my golden child. To me, he can do no wrong. He’s a good cuddler and sleeps next to me all night long. Brick is next, and he is just so darn cute. Even though he’s part Boxer, he missed getting the Boxer personality, and he’s a pretty chill dude. That is when he’s not eating something he’s not supposed to (past incidents include getting into a loaf of zucchini bread, a tub of cookies, bird seed, and even an unopened can of pumpkin filling. Yes, he bit right through the aluminum. Don’t worry, he’s fine.).

We like to joke about Little Girl because she’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. She’s a ditz. And is soo annoying during the night and in the morning. She meows, like constantly. And jumps from dresser to dresser, knocking things off onto the floor, then crawls all over us at night, only to repeat this activity pretty much all night. The small percentage of the time she is not doing that, she’s a pretty big Daddy’s Girl. She LOVES snuggling with my husband. She just crawls right up on his belly and parks it.

They all get along pretty well. Brick pretty much ignores the cats, unless they come up to him. Captain likes to headbutt things, and he tries with Brick, but he just doesn’t get it. Little Girl will occasionally try to play with Captain, but it usually ends up with Captain running away (it’s a slow run), or him pinning her down and licking her. They do groom eachother, which is cute … until one of them has had enough and then it ends up in them fighting and we have to break it up.

Jade and Oak

Anyway, this post is part of the Pets Are People Too linkup with Jade & Oak and Karly Kim.  So with no further ado, here’s a ton of pictures of my pets just because.

Brick had a birthday party in the park!

Brick had a birthday party in the park!

Me with the whole group

Me with the whole group

Looking oh so fresh

Looking oh so fresh

Yes, Little Girl does have a party dress.

Yes, Little Girl does have a party dress.

Brick, oh so stoic.

Brick, oh so stoic.

She also has a princess costume.

She also has a princess costume.

He looks scared most of the time, even when being loved.

He looks scared most of the time, even when being loved.

Frog legs!

Frog legs!

Sleepin' in a drawer.

Sleepin’ in a drawer.

Not a big fan of antlers.

Not a big fan of antlers.

Captain attended a pet walk with me in the park

Captain attended a pet walk with me in the park

Window watchers

Window watchers