Pastries and Postcards

thoughts/travels/stories

An ode to pizza

I'll always love you

I'll never leave you

except maybe 'till morning

but then I'll still eat u.

I don’t know what direction this blog is headed, but I must say it is incredibly satisfying to have someplace to finally put all these thoughts. My head was getting rather crowded.

Repetition

A while back, someone shared an article on facebook about mental health. In the caption of her shared post, she apologized for being repetitive in regards to sharing information and advocating for mental health awareness. This was what I wrote in response:

Sometimes, repetitive gets a bad rep. But repetitive can be a great thing, too. Talking about mental illness IS repetitive: repetitive, like hearing I love you every morning. Repetitive like seeing the leaves come out on the trees every spring. Repetitive like how the smell of fresh-baked cookies as you walk into the kitchen NEVER seems to get old. So while you might feel like you’re repeating yourself, I think that repetition should be seen in the best light. Raising awareness about mental illness and all the resources available, on campus and within our own lives, isn’t just repetitive; it’s constructive. It’s supportive. It’s encouraging, effective and beneficial. If people don’t want to read what you have to say they don’t have to – and it’s their loss. You’re spreading awareness about a disease that can make waking up every morning, putting a smile on your face and the prospect of life itself seem repetitive. In my opinion, continuing to share about it is the best, most worthwhile kind of repetitive there is.

Quick tips for blog beginners

I’m still “figuring out” WordPress – it’s an ongoing, dynamic process and I will continue to update this post with simple summaries as I learn more! Follow along and learn with me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Some important beginners’ blog terms:

Plugin – I like to think of these as system updates. They are the attachments that you “plug in” to your blog that come with lots of cool new functions (widgets). Just be careful because too many plugins can weigh down your blog, slowing its functionality. Kind of like plugging too many appliances into a wall socket. Don’t blow your circuits!
Widget – These are the fun applications that you get to use all over your blog to personalize its appearance and add different functions for your readers! Some widgets come automatically with your theme, others you can get by installing new plugins. Plugins usually come with multiple widgets, but occasionally someone will write a specific plugin just to provide a specific widget.
Social Sharing/Social Media Sharing – Allows readers to share your blog content to THEIR social media pages. Helps spread the word about your blog and bring your content to new readers!
Social Media/Follow Me – These allow you to place buttons on your blog so your readers can connect and jump to YOUR social media pages! This brings traffic to your other social media sites, but remember that it is also guiding/transferring readers AWAY from your blog content!

Common questions:

Do I need plugins for every widget? NO! You can create lots of widgets just by plugging the code into an empty text widget. “But I’m no computer science whiz!” LOL you and me both, babe. Luckily there are tons of people who ARE and who have very generously posted the text codes for specific widgets for you to copy and paste to your heart’s content ย (smiley with hearts in eyes).

Bless you, generous tech whizzes.

Biting off more than I can chew

I’ve always loved grapes. Red grapes, specifically. And I’ve also apparently always had very little self control when it comes to eating (please refer to someone familiar with the Olive Garden catastrophe). My Aunt Ellen used to tell a story from when I was 3 and someone made the mistake of setting a bowl of grapes in front of me. I proceeded with my greedy little hands to shove every single grape in that bowl into my mouth, cheeks blown out like a squirrel that just hit the acorn jackpot. My aunt was presumably at this point mentally preparing herself for a trip to the hospital and the subsequent explanatory/apologetic conversation with my father. However, no ambulance was ever called. I calmly tackled (read: chewed? Did I have molars?) my mouth full of grapes slowly and methodically until the whole glorious assemblage had made its way down my gullet.

The point being…?

Since I was little, I’ve had a knack for taking on projects that were seemingly more than I could manage. I say seemingly, because it’s really all in how you look at it. So I have a bit of a habit of taking on commitments that are pretty daunting. But I usually find a way to make it work.

When I first discovered the endless possibilities of digital nomadism and freelance blogging, I feverishly consumed all the blog posts (ironic) and articles I could. Like an over-ambitious college freshman at their first activities fair, I pinned every “Top 10 tips for how to market yourself as a freelancer” post, signed up for multiple newsletters and created accounts on far too many freelancing/job-searching websites for one person to ever sanely keep track of. I envisioned myself traveling the world whilst juggling professional translation, data entry, blogging about my #solofemaletravel adventures and writing haikus along the way. Not to say that isn’t all possible… I’m just outlining how violently I threw myself into this new, shiny possibility.

Somewhere along that line, I convinced myself that purchasing my own website domain name was an ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL step to achieving my goals. This likely had to do with multiple freelance bloggers who are sponsored to convince me of this combined with my horribly-timed yearly reveling-in-the-glory of my most recent tax return.

*Insert clip of $$dolla bills$$ raining down here*

It also had to do with the fact that I was ridiculously proud and a little paranoid of the cutest blog name EVER that I had recently though up all on my own: Pastries and Postcards. Yes that is hyperlinked ๐Ÿ˜‰ (bc Freelancer tip numero uno = MARKET YO’SELF and also I need practice). WHAT if someone else ALSO saw pastries and postcards as her top two travel motivations and wanted to tell the world about it and stole my website name!!!!!!

Now your own self-owned website with all the cool tricks is an awesome tool for those who already have a solid clientele and are looking to grow their brand. Or those who maybe know more than jack sh!t about website design. But seeing as I fall into exactly neither of those categories, buying my own website domain was *maybe* a bit of an impulsive reaction to a heightened sense of “I CAN DO ANYTHING IF I PUT MY MIND AND LIMITED MONEY TO IT.”

I realized this after browsing through several travel bloggers’ website/blogs (what even IS the difference? new goal: find out) for inspiration and realizing my favorite one, due to its elegant and simple design, was one hosted on the “only for beginners”, “limited possibilities”, read: FREE domain, wordpress.com.

 

So.ย What do I do now? Do I go back and start from the more basic, beginner level, using the easy-to-follow tools they provide to get a handle on things first? Or do I just dive right in to the big time and tackle real website design all at once because eventually *hopefully* that’s where I’d end up anyways?

Cast your votes by messaging me on facebook and telling me how much of an idiot I am.

๐Ÿ˜€

A haiku about my most recent predicament:

I bought a website.
It isn’t nearly as hip
as that zoo movie.

Hello friends

The question I’ve been asked most commonly throughout my life is “Molly, what exactly do you do with all your time?” This blog will aspire to answer that question, as well as some others.

(You’re welcome, mom.)