Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


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Where You Can Find Me

Today is shameless plug day!

I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed sharing myself and my adventures on this blog over the past 2+ years. My readership has grown by leaps and bounds and I truly appreciate every single person who takes the time to stop by and especially those who leave comments.

I am starting to branch out into other areas of the web and would love if you joined me there as well.

-Girl Meets Bulgaria has a Facebook page. I share updates, link to posts, and just generally enjoy chatting with readers. A handy “Like” button is located in the right sidebar. Go ahead and click it. You know you want to!

-My time on Pinterest has certainly gone down, but I still enjoy marathon pinning sessions every so often. I have quite a few boards full of lovelies, so stop on by and check those out.

-I have finally recently figured out how to post pictures from my Flickr feed here on the blog. It certainly came at just the right time as my allotted 2GB storage from WordPress is perilously close to being full. I am getting a lot better about updating my photostream and already have lots of pics posted. I plan on going back in my free time and adding photos for past trips and also my time spent in Bulgaria last winter. My most recent uploads show in the right sidebar.

-Speaking of photography, last winter I started a Tumblr site, Pixels from Afar. This is where I showcase my best photographs in all their high-quality and non-compressed glory. I haven’t updated in a really long time, but I intend to get back into the swing of things once I get settled in BG.

-Finally, my true joy…Twitter. I love Twitter. I can post updates from my crappy ghetto phone, it’s quick, and I like the interaction it provides. I am quite active on the site, so if you have a Twitter account and follow me, I will certainly follow you back!

I am on a mission to surpass 100 “Likes” on Facebook and followers on Twitter. I am so close on both. Help a girl out! I promise you will be dazzled by my witty and charming nature! 😉

Alright. Plug sesh is done. On to bigger and better things tomorrow as I continue to post daily for NoBloPoMo.

Feel free to shamelessly plug your own web stuffs in the comments!

W.

: : :

RSS feed | Facebook | TwitterTumblr | Pinterest | Flickr


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Seven | 10 Day You Challenge

ten secrets

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Continuing the 10 Day You Challenge today with nine loves

1) Travel–Honestly, when I think of the one overriding love or passion in my life, traveling and exploring the world is the first thing to come to mind. There really isn’t anywhere on earth I wouldn’t love to explore. I am forever planning my next trip and dreaming about the new experiences I will encounter. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a road trip somewhere close or a trip halfway around the world: I am in! To get really specific, out of everywhere I have been, Scotland takes the cake as my favorite destination. I was only there a few days, but the breathtaking countryside and genuinely warm people burrowed their way deep into my heart and soul. I would love to live there one day.

2) Photography–I can still remember my first camera, a cheapo 110 film Kodak given to me by my grandparents when I was a young child. People have often told me how good my photographs are, but until a few years ago I never really saw it. Now I feel like my personal photography style and unique way of seeing the world is coming through in the photos I take. I still have a HUGE amount to learn about the art itself (and using my camera in manual mode), but I feel that this is what makes photography great–there is always room for learning and growing.

3) Arts and crafts–Ever since I was little I have loved making things with my hands. I cannot draw or paint for the life of me, but I love making jewelry, scrapbooking, and doing needlework. Now by no means am I fantastic at any of them (although I am pretty proud of some of my jewelry pieces), but I sure try! My dream job would be to work out of a home studio making something beautiful for the world to enjoy. And while it may not be an art or craft, I enjoy cooking and am looking forward to improving my talents (with my husband as guinea pig, of course!).

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…Lately…

With all our time spent indoors the past week or so (seems like much longer), it’s no surprise that the hours spent glued to my laptop screen have substantially increased.

So… What’s floatin’ my boat these days?

  • The hilarious world of “Gary” and “Elaine” over on Catalog Living. Check it out. You’ll laugh your behind off!
  • I love vintage photos and all things weird/macabre, so Black and WTF was a fun find.
  • Recently, Sublime Stitching (which has been on my radar for years) has renewed my love for embroidery. I have a hankerin’ to bust out some personalized tea towels and pillow cases. Too bad my stash of embroidery floss is at home (along with all my other crafting supplies–BOO!) I am going to buy one of their kits and some patterns once I am stateside in April.
  • Extreme sidewalk chalk art is always fun to look at (please ignore the fact that it’s on Nick Cannon’s website. Came upon it through Stumbleupon).
  • The always gorgeous photos and words of Miz Booshay
  • Finally all caught up on one of my favorite TV time sucks: Dexter.
  • Pinterest in general, but more specifically:

Fun ways to assemble kids' meals.

Cute baby animal overload! (couldn't find original source)

All things Peter Pan--my fave!

Campfire Cones--such a great idea!

The gorgeous photography of Irene Suchocki

**Click on photos to link to source**

You can check out all my pins (and there are lots) here.

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What are you loving lately? Any internet time sucks you’d like to share? COMMENT!

W.

*Did you participate in the SOPA/PIPA blackout yesterday? If not, you can still show your support and help make a difference. Congress votes on the SOPA/PIPA bills on Tuesday, Jan. 23rd. There’s still time to voice your opinion and tell the the U.S. government that internet censorship is unacceptable.*


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I’ve Caught the Bug

…the fall crafting bug!

There’s just something about this time of year that makes me want to put on my best Martha Stewart act, shut myself up in a warm house and create something pretty or useful!

(I can’t wait until I can have my own studio/crafting space one day.)

Heaven knows I have enough supplies on hand f0r projects to last throughout winter, but of course I have my eye on some things that require a trip to the craft store and/or some online shopping.

Thanks to Pinterest I am able to “bookmark” ideas that I want to revisit. That website has definitely rekindled my love affair with a glue gun and acrylic paints (among other things)!

A few ideas at the top of my list:

*click photo to link to tutorial*

Earring display

Upcycled Tshirt Scarf

Ruffled Camera Strap

Zipper Bracelet

Recycled Light Bulb Vases (no link to source)

Ruffled Infinity Scarf

Giant Granny Square Blanket

And oh so many more!

I’m also a font addict these days! I love handwritten type fonts and can’t seem to stop downloading them! The memory on my laptop is starting to wish I would slow down. If you want to grab a bunch for yourself, check out a few of my favorite free-font websites: dafont and kevindandamanda. Amanda (of kevinandamanda) is one crafty lady and her blog is a must-see! The first three crafts above are actually hers!

I have had a lot of fun lately making new blog headers using lots of different fonts.

Lastly, I am itching to be elbow deep in floury dough and sweet batter. So many fun fall recipes out there.

Does autumn make you want to create? Have your eye on some fun projects?

Comment and let me know!

W.


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Finding My Place in the Blogging World

Here comes a 4am brain dump… Prepare yourselves.

I have blogged on Girl Meets Bulgaria for nearly a year and a half now and I’m starting to feel in a bit of a rut.

Here’s the thing: I have more to write about than ever before.

As the name implies, I started this blog to document my journey to, and life in, Bulgaria. Well, it’s finally on the horizon but some days the last thing I want to do is blog about it. And it certainly isn’t due to a lack of time. I happen to have LOTS of that at the moment!

I read lots of blogs (probably too many) and I am starting to feel slightly inadequate. Between: Not Me Mondays, Wordless Wednesdays (oh, but to confuse things, sometimes they have words) and Scavenger Hunt Sundays; linkups and giveaways; sponsors and buttons;  challenges and surveys, I am starting to feel like this blogging thing is a bit… well… overdone. Add in Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr and don’t forget blog hops and memes (exactly what is a meme anyway?) and it’s no wonder my head starts to hurt when I spend more than a few minutes on Google Reader.

Don’t get me wrong, I use a lot of the things mentioned above, but I am starting to drive myself crazy wondering if I should also be posting a Wordless Wednesday or A-Z of Me. Hell, there is some mass-blogged topic for every day of the week. People don’t really have to come up with anything original anymore. Just find a linkup and you are good to go!

But here’s the thing, there is no rule book for blogging. Maybe my readership would improve if I did a giveaway or shared a button. But part of me wonders… why do I care about the number of people who read my blog? As long as my family and friends have a place to go to stay up to date with what’s going on in my life, isn’t that enough?

Well, no. If I am being honest with myself, it isn’t. Any blogger who says their readership numbers don’t matter to them even just a little bit is lying. Otherwise, they would be writing with a good ole’ fashioned pen in a handy-dandy thing we call a diary. If they weren’t trying to write to an audience why post on the World Wide Web?

I have done far better (in readership numbers) then I ever expected I would. I am flattered that people care what I have to say, especially considering I am not even in Bulgaria yet and a large number of my readers are Bulgarian. It truly makes my day to log into my WordPress account and see a couple of hundred people have read my blog that day or posted a thoughtful and supportive comment. On the flip side, I get super bummed out when I see only a few dozen views for the day. Sigh.

At this point, I am not doing this to make money (and probably never will). I don’t want sponsors. I won’t do reviews of products so that I get free stuff. I will just continue to post the happenings in my daily life with some photos thrown in for good measure. If that means that my blog doesn’t “do as well” as others, then so be it. I don’t know why I feel like it’s a competition anyway.

I’ll probably be eating my words in a few months time when I suddenly think it’s a great idea to start posting a Wordless (who’s kidding, mine would have words) Wednesday or photo challenge. For now though, I’m not into it (and I certainly mean no offense to anyone who is).

For the time being, I will focus on improving my blog for me not in order to keep up with what everyone else is doing. I’m considering a move to a self-hosted blog on WordPress.org with my own domain name. I have also thought about focusing more on a photo blog (which I stated months ago but have yet to post to). That should keep me busy!

Do any of you other bloggers out there ever feel overwhelmed and a bit inadequate? Sort of a “keeping up with the Jones'” vibe in the blogosphere?

Maybe it’s just me.

Hm.

I should get some sleep. Everything looks brighter after a solid 8 hours!

W.


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…Lately…

I’m:

  • Excited for my day off on Friday. Going salmon fishing again!
  • BEYOND excited for next week. Going to the Copper River Princess, visiting Valdez and on a Prince William Sound boat cruise (hoping to see some whales and calving glaciers!)
  • Trying to plan my September wedding (ceremony site is booked!)
  • Just set up an account on Pinterest-looks pinteresting… get it? 😉
  • Wanting to start a 365 Photo Challenge-but a I will wait until my first day in Bulgaria.
  • Catching up on the 800+ blog posts in my Google Reader
  • Wondering what this Google+ business is all about
  • Itching to get crafty
  • Trying to figure out how to get a FBI criminal background check up here in AK (for visa purposes)
  • Thinking about studying up on traffic laws before getting my AK drivers license
  • Reading East of the West: A Country In Stories (really good so far)
  • Listening to Florence and the Machine
  • Spending way too much time online. Obviously!