8.19.2014

How to Kill a Basil Plant (in 10 easy steps)


Step 1: Buy a basil plant

You obviously can't kill something unless you have it. The real key to fully embracing Step 1 is to get really excited about buying the basil plant. You should probably tell your friends and maybe even blog about it. Start collecting recipes that call for fresh basil.

Step 2: Keep the basil pot on the ledge outside your apartment.
You want your basil to get sunlight and shade, and the ledge is the perfect spot!

Step 3: Water the basil plant

During Step 3, you are creating the illusion of growth.  You are careful to give your basil just the right amount of water. Your basil is growing! Excitement abounds.

Unbeknownst to you, however, in an effort to be nice, your neighbor is secretly watering your basil when she waters her flowers, which are sitting on the ledge right next to your basil.

Step 4: Become confused when the basil plant starts turning yellow.
At this point you think maybe the basil isn't being watered enough, so you water it more. Google tells you this is a terrible idea and that basil leaves turn yellow when the plant is being watered too much.

Step 5: Freak out and completely stop watering your basil plant. Notice the leaves are continuing to turn yellow and are now starting to fall off. Mass confusion ensues.

Step 6: Become suspicious that your elderly neighbor might be secretly watering your basil plant.

Step 7: Stage a stakeout and catch elderly neighbor in the act.

Step 8: Instead of confronting her, passive aggressively move the pot inside where your neighbor can't get to it.

Step 9: Return to a routine watering system.
Step 9a: Get excited when your basil plant seems to be improving.

Step 10: Leave the country for a week. (To here, in case you missed it.)

8.15.2014

Blog Talk #5: Why Do You Follow?

Welcome to blog talk! 

This is the fifth installment of "Blog Talk," in which I will give my opinion on different aspects of blogging and then continue the discussion in the comments. Because I want to hear what you have to say! Yes, you're even allowed to disagree. Just be nice about it.
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Don't miss the other posts in this series!

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After my last blog talk post about why you unfollow blogsI got a few requests to write a blog talk post about why I follow blogs. While writing this post, I realized that I'm a bit of a freak. Apparently I have a subconscious process to following blogs that I wasn't aware of until I started writing it out. I'm really interested to know what your process (or not) is, so please leave a comment! Hopefully I'm not the only crazy one with a following process.

As I mentioned before, I am pretty picky about what blogs I follow on Bloglovin. There are only so many hours in a day, and I don't want a blog clogging up my feed that I am not interested in consistently reading. If I land on a blog that I think might be a potential follow, these are my general steps:

ONE
I read their most recent post, and I scroll down the page and skim their other recent posts. If I don't see anything interesting on that first page, I leave. Obviously what one person finds interesting is not what another person is going to find interesting, but usually I can get sucked in pretty quick by really good writing, a gorgeous photograph, or someone who makes me laugh out loud.

TWO
If I do see something interesting, I leave a comment. I want them to know I was there! This is a test, if you will. I'm sneaky like that. I want to see if they will respond to my comment, maybe even give my blog a return visit. A return visit or a return comment isn't an immediate make-or-break, but it does give me an indication of the blogger's friendliness to new readers. As I mentioned in my last post about unfollowing, if I constantly comment and engage with you and I never hear anything back, I most likely will not be following.

THREE
I read their "About" page.

Now here's the deal: when I go to an "about" page, I am looking for something specific, i.e., a brief page with at least one picture (but not fifteen), and I want the highlights

Who you are. What you like. Where you live. 
Make it interesting but keep it short.

When I click on an "about" page, I don't want an entire life history in eighteen paragraphs. I don't want a thousand pictures of your wedding day. I don't want a hundred links to your favorite posts that you've written. If you want to include a bunch of links to favorite posts, make a "Best Of" page, but don't clutter your About page with links. 

That's obviously just my opinion, so please don't go running back to your About page to change it just because I said so. Okay? But we're sharing here, and I'm just being honest. I like about pages to be short. The end.

FOUR
I check out their Twitter. I often use Twitter as my "test" follow. If I had Instagram, I would probably use that too. I want to see if they are witty (yay!) or only retweet blog giveaway posts (womp womp). I'll see if their blog posts catch my eye, and maybe I'll even try to respond to a tweet or two and see if I can get a connection going. (This sounds eerily like internet dating. I'm not creepy, I swear!)

FIVE
I follow. Hurrah! We made it finally. Eight years later.

And that's pretty much how it works! It sounds like a lot of work, but it's really not. Plus, I rarely have to unfollow a blog because my screening process is so ridiculously long smart, so it saves work for me in the long run.
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Okay that's all I've got! Now I really want to hear from you. Really really.
Here are a few questions to get you started:

1. Do you have a follow process like me? What are your steps?
2. What specific qualities or interests do you more easily connect with?
3. What's your opinion about "About" pages?
4. Do you have a preferred social media platform for "testing" out new blogs?
5. Do you think my blog following process is completely insane?*
*No, don't answer that.
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I named this series "Blog Talk" because I do want us to talk to each other. I don't know about you, but on these types of posts I enjoy reading the comments just as much as I do the actual post!

I have my opinion, but I want to hear yours. On these posts I will write back to comments in the comment section so we can learn from each other, so be sure and check back. And again, you can disagree, but be nice about it. Any unnecessarily rude or nasty comments will be deleted. The Lady Okie has spoken.

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