Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day ~ Remembered

Memorial Day signifies many things to me, first and foremost it is a day to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us, a day to remember the fallen soldiers who have served our country and a day to remember those whose names and faces are unknown.

In addition to being a day of reflection, this weekend is the first three day weekend that starts the summer season (yes, we all know it's not summer yet).  Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend means many things to many people first and foremost it is a day of remembrance.

I would like to take a minute to remember those who are no longer with us.
My Great Grandma Carlson

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Make Your Own Low-Tech Blog Header/Banner

First and foremost this post is my 200th post....
So Happy 200th Post-a-Versary to me!  

I have gotten a few compliments and comments on my new blog header, so I thought I would share with you how to make your own.   For those of you who know me and have followed me for a while you probably know that I hate to pay for anything I can figure out how to do myself, because at heart I am a consummate cheapskate......

That being said I wanted one of the cute blog headers that are popping up all over with the illustrated woman (that looks way better than I ever could).  I wanted to find a woman who was working in her kitchen, who at least had the same hair and eye color as me.

Now I am not a computer guru, but I am persistent which I attribute to my Blog OCD.  I searched high and low to find something that was low cost, but I didn't even know what this style of design was called.  There were some freebies out there that various designers had available, but most of those would not allow me to make any modifications and the headers were usually a small part of a "Free Blog Theme".  I like the look and theme that I have so I didn't want to pursue that option.  Not to mention that using someone else's free design leaves me at their mercy should they decide to pull their free offer.

Finally I remembered using Dreamstime in the past - they have both "free" and "for purchase" images!  I logged onto Dreamstime and did several different searches using key words like Kitchen, Cooking, Recipes, etc. (make sure that you click Illustrations only, otherwise you will have photographs show up too).   I finally found the image I wanted and purchased it.  The purchase level that I choose allows me to make changes and use it in my own blog or other applications....there was also a much more expensive option if I had wanted to use the image in a design that I planned to sell.  I choose the smallest most inexpensive image I could, because even the smallest was more than suitable for my needs.  I am not a designer so I only have Paint, Publisher and Power Point on my computer.  I used a combination of Paint and Publisher to come up with my Blog Header, my Button and my Facebook Page Image.  I used paint to create the background behind the "Welcome to KL's Cupboard" text, but I used Publisher to marry everything together.

My total cost for my updated look was less than $9.00.  I am so happy with the results!   Let me know if you decide to give it a try - I would love to see your results!  


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Weekend Special

Country Gourmet Home is giving away a FREE Americana Birdhouse with any $10 or more order placed this weekend!

Valid 5/28 - 5/30

To Purchase:


Friday, May 27, 2011

Freaky Friday - Wierd Memories!

Since I have nothing particularly brilliant to say or talk about I thought I would take a little cruise through some of my "stranger" photos and share them with you! Hope you enjoy!

This is one of the scariest bridges I have ever crossed in a car - single lane bridge!

Youngest Being Goofy!

When Hubby Makes Popcorn!

When Hubby Paints!
Spider Bite from a Hobo Spider!


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Go Fly a Kite!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I Have to Confess....

I have to confess that I don't know a thing about analyzing my blog stats, SEO, Blog Grades or any of the "other" gadgets designed to let me know how I'm doing.  I know that SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization and when I had a self hosted WordPress I was able to add on a widget that took care of all that, but now that I'm using the blogger platform I don't have a clue. 

You are probably wondering why I would move from Self hosted WordPress to Blogger - the answer is simple, it was all about cost!  I spent $150 last year to have my Self hosted WordPress Blog and this year I spent $10 for my domain name and I'm using the FREE Blogger platform.   So I would say the difference was $140 clams.  I do have a blog grade posted on my blog and it goes up and down depending on what I change.  I improved it from 83 to the 95 it is today, I think I must be doing something right (the total score is 100) since my Blog got an "A".

So what is Search Engine Optimization and why would I need it?  What is the difference between a Unique Visitor and a Regular Visitor?  I know that a unique person is one who stands out from the crowd and is different, but I somehow don't think that explanation is the case here. conclusion, HELP!  Hopefully
 someone knows the answer and will post it on a comment!
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rainy Sunday Blog Hoppin'!

It's wet and rainy out, so it's time to work on my blog and blog followers!  I decided to participate in  another round of blog hops!  During yesterday's hop along I did manage to find several wonderful blogs!  Although yesterday was supposed to have been yet another end all day, my own faith believes first and foremost the following passages as spoken by Jesus to his disciples:

Matthew 24: 36-51
36"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38"For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40"Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41"Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Weekend Blog Hops!

It's been a while since I've done any "Hopping" so I decided to join a few Weekend Blog Hops! My criteria for following any blog hops is the K.I.S.S. brain is usually running on overload so I will only join blog hops that have very easy to follow instructions and few rules. I like to follow new blogs and leave comments but if I have to remember a bunch of rules then I am a "gonner"! Needless to say any hops I have listed are easy to follow along. If you are new to blog hoping, keep in mind that there is more to "hopping" than just listing your name and link and posting the blog hop button.

If you want a successful hop and your goal is more followers you will have the greatest chances of success by leaving as many comments as you can and make your comments genuine and pertain to the post you are commenting on. Also leave your blog link as part of your signature so you can be found! If it's not readily evident which post I should comment on, always go with the most recent post. Always follow the Hop Host(s) and leave them a comment to let them know you are participating. Good Luck and Happy Hopping!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

MailChimp Newsletters!

I just got done executing my first MailChimp campaign (newsletter).  I am usually pretty computer savvy, but creating my first template and coming up with content took some time!  I am still working on how to re-size the width, for some reason I got it quite a bit wider than I wanted....I think it had something to do with the image width so I will have to play around with that a bit.  This first newsletter went out to my Country Gourmet Home team members.  Hopefully they will be forgiving if they find errors!

My next venture will be working on a newsletter for customers and subscribers ~ I will have specials and coupon codes that will exclusive to my newsletter subscribers, so please sign up if you would like to take advantage of them!  I anticipate doing either a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter - I don't know about you but I really prefer to only get newsletters once a month or less, my email is clogged up with subscriptions and some even send out daily and weekly updates which I think is too much!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Blog OCD??

I love to blog, but sometimes it seems like I spend more time on the layout and design of my blog than I do on actual articles. I think I have finally figured it out - I suffer from Blog OCD with a little Blog ADHD mixed in!

I love to read other blogs and as I'm reading I find myself suffering from the "shiny blog syndrome". I love the article, but my brain starts thinking, ooh I love the font they are using or that layout is great! The next thing I know I am behind the scenes of my blog trying to mimic the look. Then the OCD part kicks in and I'm not happy until my blog looks "just right".

The good news is that I'm not a lost cause....I do get frustrated if it (the blog) doesn't come out the way I want it to, but I will close it down and leave it "as is" if I can't figure out how to get the look I want. Of course, I have usually already spent way too many hours (yes I said hours) before I get to the point of "I give up". 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

To Celebrate Mother's Day, I am posting a few of my favorite images! I hope that each and everyone of you Mamas out there has a blessed and wonderful Mother's Day!