Recently, I have gotten myself quite addicted to Pinterest. What is Pinterest? Pinterest is basically a virtual pinboard site. You create pinboards of all different topics of your interest and then you can pin different images there which link back to their source on the internet. The fun part is seeing other people’s pinboards and sharing what you’ve found with your friends.

So, I decided to share some things I’ve found with you since I’ve decided to cave to the new internet craze that is Pinterest.


Glowing firefly jars. Flick specks of glow in the dark paint into a mason jar!


Rainbow drink! Colored ice cubes (with KoolAid or juice), stack in tall glasses and pour in sprite!


50 Crafts & Projects Using Recycled, Repurposed and Upcycled Cans.


Cute baskets & wall mounting brackets together! Great ideas for organization.


clock from ThinkGeek.com – I want this for my classroom because it’s amazing and I’m a huge nerd

What have you found on Pinterest?
If you’d like to take a look at my Pinboards or add me, feel free!
http://pinterest.com/caitysparkles/

I have tried multiple times now to do a project 365 – take a photo of myself (or something else but self portraits are often what I choose to try and accomplish) every day for a year. I got pretty far once but I never actually completed a year’s worth of photos consecutively. I never actually stop taking photos, though.

I have been active on Daily Booth in the past in hopes that it helped to motivate me but it just didn’t captivate me. However, there is one website that really drew me in and it finally has me hooked. That site is Daily Fratze.

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DailyFratze is a small community that is similar to Daily Booth but I think the fact that it’s a smaller community makes it more appealing to me. It’s also has way more customization and options and is run by one guy as a personal project so he actually cares about it (and he cares about the people on the site). The majority of people on DailyFratze are from Germany as this is where the owner hails from but there are people from all around the world including me from New Zealand and even another guy from Rhode Island. A few people who I have told about the site have asked me if it was hard to navigate a German site but it’s also available in English and plus just about everyone I’ve run into on the site speaks English beautifully, as well. I feel silly for not being able to speak two languages too sometimes watching them all do it so well.

I haven’t been on DailyFratze as long as most people. My blog friend Adastra who told me about the site in the first place just celebrated her fifth anniversary on Daily Fratze. I think that’s pretty incredible!

I love how I can tag my photos to easily see all photos with a certain subject (or even certain tshirts). I also love viewing my photos by month. I can even link my account with twitter, facebook, and even last.fm so that my profile shows all my recent activity if I want it to. I’m still getting used to taking photos every day again. I almost had a flawless October and then I missed a couple days last week while I was away but with practice I am sure I will get better again especially now that I am becoming more active in the community there.

Pick up that camera and check it out. I dare you.

Today, I am going to tell you about some blogs that I think are worth reading. Maybe you might even want to head over there right now. Today is all about sharing some blog love because that’s what bloggers should do. Sure, we link each other on our sidebars and on our link pages but sometimes it’s worth dedicating a post to some blogs that just deserve it for one reason or another. Here are my picks today.


amerrylife.com
If you like a good story about a girl who married a kiwi, moved to New Zealand, lost a bunch of weight, and loves optimism and adventure then why not read another one? Mary has got it all and more and I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog. I know that you will too.


afinereflection.wordpress.com
Kristie is not new to the blogging world but this blog is brand new as she’s taken a long hiatus from blogging before this blog. She’s back in full force with tons of great posts that have had me captivated from crafts to great stories that make me chuckle or nod in agreement. She is crafty, witty, and she also just lost 50 pounds.


booboomagoo.com
I don’t think I have ever laughed as many times and as hard as I do when I read Lisa’s blog. Her humour is just amazing and her writing style, even when she speaks about the most mundane tasks, captivates me like nobody else can. She is pregnant with baby number one and I know the adventures are never going to stop in this little corner of the internet. Head on over because you won’t regret it.


newdressaday.com
Okay, so not as personal of a blog and she’s got plenty of readers but you’ll love this one. This girl did 365 days of thrift store shopping on a budget of a dollar a day and made brand new outfits out of every piece. Now people send her old thrift store clothes that are SO ugly and she masterpieces the CRAP out of them. It’s incredible. She’s a genius. New Dress a Day? More like Caity reads through the entire archives of your blog in one day.


sassyray.wordpress.com
One of my amazing friends from MyFitnessPal started a blog just a couple days ago. She told me that I had part in inspiring to start a blog. I was honoured. You should all go visit her. She takes amazing pictures and has written some awesome and thought provoking entries so far. I think good things will only come from this blog.


shimmerlikegold.org
I’ve been following Krissy’s blog for a long time now. I always get so much inspiration from her blog and I learn a lot, too. She finds so many great things from all over the internet and always posts the greatest pictures that I enjoy so much.

Having the analytical mind that I do, having majored in mathematics and being the general nerd that I am, I love statistics. Obviously also enjoying blogging, I am overjoyed when I can combine the two. I love to look at caity.nu’s website statistics in all areas. For example, did you know that on average about 200-400 people visit my site every day? The top five countries that have visited in the past year were the USA, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, and Great Britain (then 5 other countries and THEN New Zealand). What I’m most disappointed with is that more people used Internet Explorer than Google Chrome. I suppose I will let it slide since more people used Firefox than Internet Explorer but it’s still no excuse for Internet Explorer to be in the running at all, is there? Haha, I am joking. I know that sometimes there is reason to use it although I find ways around it whenever I am able.

A postcard from France!
Flashback: Postcards from France.

What I think is the most interesting statistic of them all are those awesome phrases that people type into search engines to finally stumble upon your website in the first place. Sometimes the ridiculous phrases that people actually type into the search bar and manage to click through to your site is astounding, isn’t it? I eagerly scrolled down to the Keyphrases used on search engines and was actually astonished to see some actual useful things listed that people managed to find caity.nu through. Let me give you some examples:

  1. what makes a good friend This is the number one search and actually accounts for a good majority of traffic to my site. Type it into Google and I’m third on the list with a useful entry on what makes a good friend if someone actually wanted an answer to their question. Imagine that!
  2. 101 in 1001 It stands for 101 things to do in 1001 days – also known as the Day Zero project. At one time I actually had my own list and I actually stopped doing it without really saying anything. The list still exists and if you search Google for this, it actually shows you my list that I never deleted but don’t have a direct link to anywhere on my site right now. Whoops.
  3. candy vegans can eat I was vegan for 10 months last year. I did it to be healthy and it worked really well for me for a while but I am not vegan for the time being even though it taught me so much about my health and how I eat. Of course I blogged about it and a search brings you to my post about vegan Easter candy.
  4. 54th birthday Search Google for 54th birthday and the 3rd result is a blog about my mom’s 54th birthday. Now that’s just weird. Also, it’s memorable because I believe that’s when my mom learned how to read my blog. How cute.
  5. i hate zumba The fourth Google result gives you a Wordless Wednesday post about how much – you guessed it – I hate Zumba. Also worth noting is that the third Google result is my Flickr photo of my reaction to how much I hate Zumba. Same photo, of course.
  6. rainy sunday mix Someone actually searched Google looking for a “rainy Sunday” music mix and found my recent Music Monday post. I hope it was what they were looking for.
  7. send postcard from france Well that’s not something I do very often. Why does that link to my site? Then I remembered that I got a postcard from my blog friend Alexandra and told everyone about it.
  8. french pass fishing It’s right there on the front page of Google. My fishing trip with all our awesome pictures! At least anyone who wanted to know about French Pass would see how beautiful it was even if they didn’t really learn much about fishing which is probably what they truly wanted to know…

These searches were all just in September! Josh thinks that these statistics are making my head swell. Maybe it is a little bit but there’s nothing wrong with finding out that your site might be more useful and more active than you actually thought it was and being a little bit excited about it, right? Nah.

What is the funniest or most interesting way that someone ever found your website?

:)

I feel fit – I feel great
I jog on treadmills and lift weights
Me and Leah go to the gym
I even started taking a vitamin
I’m counting calories and eating right
I’m finally solving my weight loss plight
So as a blogger, what else would I do
Than create a place to write about this too?

So, I’ve been talking about my amazing new surprises that I have lately. One of them is a brand new blog. I hope you’ll visit it. Of course there will still be plenty of action here at caity.nu so nothing much is changing here but I plan to go more in depth and detail about my weight loss and fitness journey over at my new place on the web.

Visit caityfit.com!!

Stay in tune for more projects. Yes, I’m that insane.

Something that has really been stressing us out ever since we got back to New Zealand is the fact that neither one of us had a job. Well, half of that problem has been resolved! Josh got a job today.

He signed up for a job recruitment place around here this week. They gave him a nice blue jumpsuit and made him take an aptitude test. They called today and told Josh that a business had called up looking for their smartest recruit. They called Josh first. I was really proud that my husband was the smartest guy there. Apparently the job recruitment places get a lot of applicants.

Today we went over to Raewyn’s house to celebrate and she made the best macaroni and cheese that I have ever tasted. Not only does the cheese taste way better here in New Zealand but she also put tomatoes and ham in it. It was amazing! Maybe that’s normal but for me, it’s the fanciest mac n’ cheese I ever had.

I decided to sign up for DailyBooth again and take a photo of myself every day. I used to think it was narcissistic but after reflecting on it further, I decided that it would be fun to see how I change over time. Living a much healthier lifestyle in New Zealand than I was in New York, I think it will be fun to see the change over time in myself and DailyBooth is a fun way to document it being that it’s a fun little community. Plus, I can make the lame excuse that I want to work on my self portrait photography. Okay… so in reality it is just narcissistic of me… but we can pretend otherwise. Also, if you have a DailyBooth then you should add me so we can be narcissistic buddies!

I will also be posting my photos of DailyFratze which is a similar community that I have been a part of previously. I actually like it better than DailyBooth but most of my friends use DailyBooth so I will be keeping up with both! I love DailyFratze because it organizes photos better and you can view them all sorts of ways such as monthly. The only thing that is hard for me about DailyFratze is the fact that most people there don’t speak English.

Today, I found an amazing website called 8tracks. It’s basically internet radio with a twist. You can make your own mixes to listen to or listen to other people’s mixes. I have been listening to it all day. I am usually the last to know about such awesome things so if you have an 8tracks account already and want to add me you can find me under 8tracks.com/caity. I am trying to expand what I listen to since I have had the same music on my hard drive for ages.

I have decided that tomorrow when I wake up, I’m getting all dressed up and going around to all the local schools in the area to introduce myself and give out my resumes. Who knows? Maybe something good could come from it. Maybe I’ll get some sub work in the meantime and I will be able to get my face out there. Wish me luck!

I’ve started replying to most of the comments on my blog.
Do you do that on your blog?
Do you go back to blogs to read the author’s responses?
Just curious.

Today I upgraded to WordPress 3.0. Thankfully it didn’t cause me to lose anything but it did cause me to be a bit frustrated. First of all, I had to upgrade it manually. I know, because clicking five buttons or something is harder than clicking one button. It also broke my horribly coded theme! You’re probably rejoicing on that one too because now I am using something more aesthetically pleasing. However, it was still annoying to set that up. All in all, upgrading to WordPress 3.0 just annoyed me but nothing horrible actually came from it.

I probably should have waited until tomorrow to say I had upgraded. I probably would have just said something like, “oh I upgraded to WordPress 3.0 and I put up a new theme because it broke my old one!” Now that I’ve whined and ranted…

My grandparents are here from North Carolina this week so I’ve been quite busy over the past few days. Today, Josh went fishing with my Dad, my Dad’s friend, and my grandpa. He took some pictures with his camera phone so I thought I would share them with you!

Josh's Fishing Adventure

Continue reading »

My mother reads my blog. Every once in a while, as with all things in life, mothers let us know what they think of things. I’ve come to realize that this is not always a bad thing and this is why my mother has access to my blog. Plus, sometimes it makes for a quite the humorous conversation – especially when it has to do with things online.

Yesterday, my mother informed me that I had not made a blog post in 3 days and that my blog had become boring. It was rather funny hearing that from my mother whose internet abilities consist of emailing her friends, sending out forwards, and clicking the link I’ve created for her in the bookmarks bar to find my blog.

She also informed me that my Wordless Wednesday posts are also boring! This made me very sad because I love taking pictures and I think that Wordless Wednesdays are fun. It’s like having a mini photoblog without actually having a photoblog! It’s my weekly photoblog! I guess my mom likes to read about my life instead. I can understand that… she being my mother and all. Now that I’ve moved out she probably misses me.

My mother also told me that my grammar was incorrect on my last post. She said, “It’s not ‘I sunk your battleship!’ It’s ‘I sank your battleship!’” Being the stubborn person that I am, I was determined to prove that although it might be grammatically correct, it was not the most common saying in the battleship world! Google helped me out.

Yes, Google. That’s what I meant.

People definitely take sports really seriously. I had a bunch of people unsubscribe from my blog after I made my last post about going to see a Yankee game. At first I was insulted. Can you really judge someone by what sports team you like? It’s not like I blog about the Yankees all the time and it’s not even like my post was all about the Yankees and how great they are. In fact, the main part of my post was about photography. Oh well. I guess some people actually take it that seriously.

I have been searching for new blogs to read lately. I already follow a whole bunch in my RSS reader but every few months I get the urge to read new blogs. I love making new blog friends. I tried becoming more active in some blogging communities that I know about and I went and commented on some random blogs in hopes that I’d make some blog friends. How do you make new blog friends?

Oh, another new layout, too. I couldn’t help myself. I just love minimal layouts.

It was my mother’s birthday today. She was feeling too sick to even have us over for cake. I felt so bad. I was so excited to give her the present that we got her. Josh, my sister, my father, and I all went in on a present for her and we think she’s going to absolutely love it! Plus, the idea came from me (and from one of my coworkers) so I’m extra excited!

You want to know what it is now, don’t you? Well, my mom reads my blog so you will just have to wait! You can say Happy Birthday to my Mom, though! If she can figure out how to read the comments again, she’ll probably appreciate it. So far, she’s figured out how to click “CAITLIN’S BLOG” on the tab I put in her bookmarks browser. I think it’s adorable.

My mom told me once that she didn’t actually read what I said, but she loved to look at all the pictures that I wrote and it gave her a general idea of what I wrote. I couldn’t believe my mother was one of THOSE blog visitors – one that clicked out that X unless she saw pictures. Are you one of those blog readers? Well, I guess I’ll never know if you are because you won’t still be here.

I decided there are types of blog readers. This is my list so far.

  • Cling to your every word. These blog readers read everything you say no matter what. If they went away on vacation, they’ll probably still read the 7 entries from when you were away and comment on them all. They probably leave entire paragraphs, too, commenting on everything you said. They could probably answer trivia about you and score higher than your best friend.
  • Casual skimmer. These blog readers tend to read bits and pieces of the blog entry. Usually they’ll read the first sentence of each paragraph and read bits and pieces here and there. If something tickles their fancy or there is something that particularly interests them, they’ll probably go back and keep reading. They leave comments frequently too because they usually have something to say… being they have a general gist or a pretty good gist of what they’ve read.
  • The first and last sentence! These blog readers tend to read the first and last sentence. If there is a list, maybe they’ll read that. They’ll leave comments but they’re usually one liners and sometimes they’ll be absolutely irrelevant to what the post is about showing that they had not read more than two words.
  • No thanks. It’s not pretty. If there’s no pictures or fancy images, these blog readers are gone in 10 seconds. Their attention spans are short and they usually only comment on image posts and only about the images. The post is usually about the images, though, so they usually get away with it.

So, do you have any to add? Well, besides the mean commenters, of course, but we won’t add them.

I love how Josh left 2 comments on my last blog as “J-Boone Pickens” and “Surly J” to add to his recipe. It really made me giggle to see those. Hahaha. I just felt the need to point that out.

I’m feeling better today but my grandfather was in the hospital today. He is home now but he gave everyone quite a scare and is still very weak and not doing well. They ran a bunch of tests and such. I hope he keep feeling better. I hate being so far away. Most of my mom’s side of the family, including my grandfather, live in North Carolina.

IOGraphica - 2.1 hours (from 15-37 to 17-46) (by caitysparkles)

I found a really neat website that monitors mouse movements while you’re on the computer. This is what my movements look like when I browse the internet for 2 hours. I found it very interesting. What does yours look like? You can download the neat little program at IOGraphica.com. That’s my little find of the day.

ATTENTION!!
PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RSS FEEDS!

http://feeds.feedburner.com/caitynu

Somehow I borked my current RSS feed and it’s not working. That’s okay, though, because I’ve been wanting to use Feedburned for a while now but just hesitated because I didn’t want to cause trouble. Now is a good opportunity, though.

Hopefully all 145 of you will follow. Possibly more? You know you love my adventures.

Yes, you’re looking at an empty blog.

I have a pretty boring reason, but a reason nonetheless.

I decided that it was finally time for me to have a big girl hosting plan of my own instead of just buying from a reseller account. I would like to say, however, that my friend Angela has been an amazing host and the only reason I moved was because I finally wanted to upgrade my space and have my own hosting account, not because there was anything wrong with her hosting. If you are looking for hosting, you should definitely check her out.

That being said, I decided to take Surpass Hosting up on their annual Get One Love offer.

I went to set everything up today only to realize that my mySQL databases wanted to import everything EXCEPT my posts. Oh, I’ve got comments, tags, settings, categories, and anything else you can imagine but the most important thing? Nah.

I could get them, but to tell you the truth… it’s annoying. I decided to pretend it’s all gone and take this opportunity to reorganize my website and restart everything. As silly as it sounds, it makes me happy. So, I hope that you will laugh along with me and keep on reading while I keep on blogging.

Bear with me while I set everything back up.

Oh, and I wiped everything clean so if you’d like to be on the blogroll, I’m restarting that too.