Blogger Widgets


WTF Friday: Episode 4

Sunshine and Crabs

It's WTF Friday, Yo'!  And boy have I got a little nugget to clog up your mind...

I've been awarded The Sunshine Award!  WTF???  I'm trying to play it cool, 'cause, you know, I'm cool and stuff.  But I am kind of excited. The Sunshine Award is like a SAG award in the blogging community.  Except there is no trophy, no fancy dress, no free booze, and no paparazzi.  So really, it's nothing like a SAG award, but it is given by a fellow blogger who thinks your stuff is better than crap.  And I will take that as a major award.  So, thank you to The Hypnotic Bard at The Insomniac's Dream for the love!

Bam!  I get to make this into a sticker and wear it all week!

Just like any award, with it comes some serious responsibilities.  This may be a total load of crap, I don't know.  The only award I've ever gotten was one of those "Thanks for Playing" blow-up toys you get when you throw a ping pong ball into a gold fish bowl at the county fair.  So having bestowed these responsibilities on me leads me to seriously question The Hypnotic Bard's sanity. Or at least her sobriety. 

In any event, I have to answer some questions so you can get to know me better (as if you don't already know I use the F-word all the time, I frequently wet my pants, and I have a love-hate relationship with Walmart), AND I get the privilege of sending the award onto 5 bloggers whose stuff I think is better than crap.  And so you see, the circle of blog life has been revealed.

So without further ado...

1) What is your favorite Christmas movie?
     I am a fan of A Christmas Story because I love lamp.

2) What is your favorite flower? 
     The Peony.  Or Pee-oe-nay as I was informed by the lead horticulturalist at Walmart.  It is the flower that symbolizes romance and prosperity and is regarded as an omen of good fortune and a happy marriage.  Which is really ironic, because it is also the State flower of Indiana and Indiana doesn't even bother keeping track of divorces they happen so frequently. Oh, and it is certainly not a "prosperous" state by any stretch of the imagination.  Cue banjos...

3) What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
      Hmmm... Coffee, I guess.  Water?  I drink a lot of water.  And I usually put ice in my wine, 'cause I like water that much and I am one classy broad.

4) What is your passion?
      I am passionate about aesthetics.  Making things pretty is a major obsession of mine.  Which is a strange contradiction since I haven't even bothered to put on make-up in about 3 weeks, and my shirt currently has pit stains AND BBQ Sauce on it.  Hey fellas...

5) What is your favorite time of the year?
      I love Spring.  I love the smell of wet decaying leaves from the fall before.  I love the squishy wetness of the grass after the snow melts.  I love the smell of lilacs, the first real indication that Spring has indeed sprung.  I also love not having to shovel.  Not that I ever do, but it looks like a real pain in the ass.

6) What is your favorite time of day?
     5pm... it's wine o'clock.  I also really enjoy the butt-crack of dawn.  Actually, several hours before the crack shows it's, well, crack.  It is peaceful in the house and my brain is fully functional, which is a rare and tender time. I usually sleep through it.

7) What is your favorite physical activity? 
     Dancing.  My husband is a ladies man and we went dancing before we ever became a "thing".  Yeah, that night he could have gotten into my pants in the men's room. I mean, it was salsa night, and that shizzle is HOT, HOT, HOT!   But he was a gentleman and didn't take advantage.  I knew he was a keeper.

8) What is your favorite vacation? 
     So many favorites, but my all time favorite was Bar Harbor, Maine.  I saw the most beautiful sunrise ever and shared it with the man of my dreams over slightly warm Dom Perignon from the night before, and I got to wear a crab hat and walked around town pretending to be a pirate.   It doesn't get better than romantic sunrises, champagne, pirates, and crabs. 

And so now I get to bestow this honor on five bloggers who make me laugh.  Is that a necessary qualification?  Technically, no.  But for me, it is a big ol' "YES"!
So check out these hilarious folks, and tell 'em I sent ya ;)
There are a ton of other super funny, super smart bloggers out there that I would love to share the accolades of, but alas, I only get 5 this time.  So gimme another award and I will share some more gems that float in a virtual sea of doo-doo.  Oh, and, thank you to the Academy. :)  


DIY Ribbon Organizer

World's Best DIY Ribbon Organizer!

As I am packing up my house for yet another move, I was struck by the fact that I am a frickin' genius!  Or at least I found a genius idea when searching online before Pinterest was cool.  Using an actual search.  All by myself!  And I mention this now because this little installation needs to be removed. 

See, I have a lot of ribbon.  Approximately 400 spools of ribbon.  Satin ribbon, organza ribbon, raffia ribbon... It's like Santa's workshop up in here!  And if one is going to use said ribbon, you've got to find a way to organize it, right?  Otherwise you're just a hoarder. 

There are approximately two options on the market for ribbon storage.

1) A stupid design where ribbon spools are threaded on a stick, meaning if you want to use the middle one (which you will), you have to take all the others off to get to it.  Ummm... stupid. 
2) An UBER-EXPENSIVE custom ribbon holder that mounts to the wall, that really is nothing more than a couple shelves glued together.  At first I bought several UBER-EXPENSIVE custom ribbon holders that took care of approximately 1/32nd of the problem.  There's $80 down the drain, and I still looked like a hoarder to my in-laws (probably still do... but for different reasons ;).

Then I found a genius idea that uses plastic gutters to store ribbon!  GENIUS!  They are the perfect size for standard 20-50 yard ribbon spools (or smaller), you can cut them to fit any space you have, and you can easily access any spool of ribbon, no matter where it is located.  Score! 

The original version looked way better.  It was 2 rows of 8ft long organizer (err... gutter) over my desk.  But of course I couldn't find a photo of that. So this wonky version will have to do.

DIY Ribbon Organizer

Why so wonky?  I got impatient and didn't want to wait for Mr. Martini to install it, so I just grabbed a drill and went at it.  Level schmevel.  Eh, it served it's purpose.  

Here's the low-down:
Measure your space and/or calculate how many linear feet you will need to accommodate your ribbon hoard. 

Buy that much plastic gutter. 

 Buy as many end caps as you will have rows x's 2. 

Install the gutter by simply drilling screws into the back into the wall.  My wonky version used those metal hanger thingys you see on peg board walls because this particular wall was one of those fancy hollow fake wood paneling walls, and the screws just kept popping out.  ** I recommend using a level, since not using a level can lead to wonkitude (see above).

A couple minutes later you'll have yourself an awesome, inexpensive custom ribbon organizer that is actually user friendly.  Genius!

Got any genius storage ideas of your own?  Share them!  Post me a note or send me an email and I'll be happy to feature your genius ideas too!


Create an Easy Peasy Menu Bar in Blogger

How to Create an easy Menu Bar in Blogger

I've been chatting back and forth with a blogger comrade this weekend because she had some questions about how to better organize her blog for her readers.  Specifically, she wanted to be able to create a menu bar so readers could easily find posts she has written on specific topics.  There are a couple ways to do this, but the easiest way is to put your Blogger Labels to work for you.

If you have been involved with website or blog creation at all, you have probably come to realize that Google is about as difficult to crack with regard to SEO tips and tricks as a Rubik's Cube (note: if you have ever cracked a Rubik's cube, just leave now.  I am not smart enough to be in your vicinity.  You should be worried about getting dumber by the second.  So, off with you).  However, by piecing bits of information gathered from various sources, I have found that the Labels in Blogger don't do a whole lot with regard to SEO.  Having 25 labels per post thinking they act as keywords for Google search optimization, likely isn't going to help too much with search engine rankings.  It can help with the internal organization of your blog by making it easier for users to find specific types of content, but won't make you the number one listing on Google for that term.

This was a major bummer for me because I thought if I just typed in "Super Awesome Blog" in my Blogger Label box, anyone Googling super awesome blog would undoubtedly find me. Not so.  So sad.  I will never be Super Awesome (crying in my, coffee).  But, they are a very useful organizational tool especially when used consistently.  So let's create a menu bar from your Labels to
maximize their effectiveness and usefulness internally.

Step One: Create a Master Labels List

Come up with a list of 5-7 words (i.e. Master Labels) that describe your posts.  For example, any post I write that is about what is on my mind, my thoughts, my personal experiences gets the label "Martini Musings".  Anything that involves my family gets the label "The Monkey House".  Recipes get labeled "Recipes" etc.  You can add additional labels to each post as well.  For instance, I will label this post "Mo' Bettah Blogging" (from my Master Label List), but I may also include "Labels, Menu Bar, How-To, and Blogger Tips" when I define my labels for this post.  Not so much because I hope it will help with Google search indexing, but because it might help you as the reader find this post based on those search terms if you do an internal site search.

Step Two: Edit Each Existing Post

Once you come up with a concise list of topics that your posts can be categorized by, go through and edit your existing labels in each post to include one or two of these "Master Labels". You can create labels for each post by adding them to the "Labels" section under the Post Settings located to the right of your post editor.  (Heh? I'm Lost. Help!...  When you're writing a post, look to your right.  See all that stuff?  One is called labels... ad your master label and any other relevant search term in there).

Step Three: Add The Label Widget (if you haven't already)

Now that all your posts are categorized by the 5-7 terms or topics that comprise your "Master Label List", you want to add a Labels Widget to your layout.  Go to Layout, and "Add a gadget" (it doesn't matter where, because we'll be moving it).

Choose the Labels gadget.

You will be given a couple options to customize the gadget.  Choose the radio button that says "Selected Labels" and then click "edit".  All the labels you have ever used will come up in a list.  Check the box next to the labels used in your Master List ONLY.  You see I only have 7 out of 93 labels checked.  ALSO Make sure you check the radio box for "List" Rather than "Cloud".  Click "Save".

 Step Five: Move The Gadget

Now you'll want to customize the location of your gadget.  Since we're creating a menu bar, you'll want to bring it to the top, right under your heading.

Save your arrangement, and view your blog.  You should see a menu bar right beneath your header with the "Master List" of labels you created.

The appearance (font, colors, etc.) Of your menu bar can be customized in the Template Section of Blogger.

BAM!  You just done did create yo'self a menu!!  Pat's on the back!  Clinking of the glasses! Whoot Whoots for all!!

Was this helpful for you?  Got any questions, suggestions or ideas for Mo' Bettah Blogging?  Leave me a comment!!  And grab my button (To the left) and let people know you found this tip at 3 Monkeys and a Martini! 

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