Thursday, June 27, 2013

B.You Bloglovin' Blog Hop #12

BLOGHOP


Thank you to everyone who linked up last time! Let's help this bloglovin' blog hop grow by sharing with your friends, followers, and adding the button to your sidebar!


Grab the button above and put it in your linky list or sidebar.

Follow your host, co-hosts, and guest host on bloglovin'. Leave a comment that you're a new follower so we can all come and check you out!

Link up your bloglovin' URL only. We had several people that submitted their blog's URL, but this is a bloglovin' hop so only link up your bloglovin' account, please!

Hop around and visit some of the other blogs that linked up and give them a follow. This is all about making new friends and finding new reads, not just linking up and expecting everyone to follow you.

Pin, Tweet, Facebook, blog this link up! The more exposure it gets, the more potential followers for you! 



Your Host:


Your Co-Hosts:

Ashley @ A Fox & A Wolf
Christina @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe
Natalee @ Eat Nap Play
Ashley @ Modernette

Guest Host:

Nicole @ The Love Crush

**If you are interested in being a guest host, please email us at b.you.blog [at] gmail [dot] com


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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Widgets for WordPress


Let's talk widgets! What's a widget, you may ask? A widget is a tool that allows you to add a variety of features to your sidebar. There are many widgets available via WordPress. If you have a WordPress.com site, all widgets are included. With a self hosted site, there are a few basic ones included, and many others are bundled within Plugins. (See Ashley's recent post about Plugins here.)

To get to your widgets, choose the 'Appearance' menu from your dashboard, and then click on 'Widgets'. To activate a widget, just drag the corresponding box of the one you want to use to the sidebar panel.


Below are a few of the widgets I use and recommend:

1. Text Widget: This one lets you add text, photos, or video to your sidebar via plain text or HTML. I use the text widget for my social media buttons and my 'About Me' section.

2. Follow Blog (WordPress.com) or Blog Subscriptions (via Jetpack Plugin): This widget allows readers to sign up to receive an email each time you publish a new blog post.

3. Search: This widget adds a search bar to your sidebar area. This is a very important widget to have on your blog. I use it all the time on other blogs that I read, and I have been disappointed before when I couldn't find a specific post that I was looking for because the blogger didn't have a search bar. Without a search bar, your readers may not be able to read that special post that they set out to find.

4. Archives: This one also helps readers find more of your posts. It displays the posts based on the month and year they were published. With the archive menu, there is potential for your blog to receive more page views because it is one more way readers can browse through your posts.

5. Instagram: This is my new favorite widget that I just activated on my blog. I am a little obsessed with Instagram. It's by far my favorite social media platform, and now my photos can be shared on my blog too. This widget is included on WordPress.com sites. For self-hosted sites, it is a downloadable plugin called  'Instagram for WordPress'.

Do you currently use any widgets on your blog? What are some of your favorites? Leave a comment below and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

B.You Bloglovin' Blog Hop #11

BLOGHOP


Thank you to everyone who linked up last time! Let's help this bloglovin' blog hop grow by sharing with your friends, followers, and adding the button to your sidebar!


Grab the button above and put it in your linky list or sidebar.

Follow your host, co-hosts, and guest host on bloglovin'. Leave a comment that you're a new follower so we can all come and check you out!

Link up your bloglovin' URL only. We had several people that submitted their blog's URL, but this is a bloglovin' hop so only link up your bloglovin' account, please!

Hop around and visit some of the other blogs that linked up and give them a follow. This is all about making new friends and finding new reads, not just linking up and expecting everyone to follow you.

Pin, Tweet, Facebook, blog this link up! The more exposure it gets, the more potential followers for you! 



Your Host:


Your Co-Hosts:

Ashley @ A Fox & A Wolf
Torrie @ Fox + Hazel
Christina @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe
Natalee @ Eat Nap Play
Ashley @ Modernette

Guest Host:

Caroline @ Love Caroline

**If you are interested in being a guest host, please email us at b.you.blog [at] gmail [dot] com


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

One of my favorite things about being a WordPress user is the near unlimited number of plugin options that I have access to.

Plugins can be used for anything - tidying up the back end of your blog, helping you organize and schedule your posts and content, formatting pages and posts and image galleries. Some plugins are totally priceless, too, like the ones that protect your admin panel from hackers, or others that automate your SEO keywords and such so you get optimal Google ranking.

I've tested out a lot of plugins over the years, and while some aren't all that great, others very quickly made it onto my "must have" list. Today, I thought it would be fun to share my top three favorite plugins!

    Jetpack
    This plugin is totally indispensable to me now. Jetpack lets you crosspost your content to social media, add share buttons at the bottom of every post, track stats daily, build contact form pages, and a ton of other cool tweaks. This plugin was created by the official WordPress team, and is one of the best that I've used yet.

    Stealth Login Page
    I only recently began to think about the security of my blog. After reading a few different articles on WordPress security, this was the first plugin that I installed to combat hacking. It's really easy to use, and basically just forwards the default WordPress admin panel address to your homepage, while giving you the option to set a custom, secret URL.

    WordPress SEO
    Over the last few months I have been testing various SEO plugins to find the one that suited me best, and I think that I've finally found it in Yoast's WordPress SEO plugin. It's extremely easy to use, and features an innovative red-yellow-green light system to show you how effective your SEO is. This is definitely a plugin that I would recommend any WordPress user add.

How about you guys? If you are a WordPress user, leave a link to your favourite plugin in the comments! I'm always on the hunt for new and awesome plugins.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

B. You Bloglovin' Blog Hop #10

BLOGHOP


Thank you to everyone who linked up last time! Let's help this bloglovin' blog hop grow by sharing with your friends, followers, and adding the button to your sidebar!


Grab the button above and put it in your linky list or sidebar.

Follow your host, co-hosts, and guest host on bloglovin'. Leave a comment that you're a new follower so we can all come and check you out!

Link up your bloglovin' URL only. We had several people that submitted their blog's URL, but this is a bloglovin' hop so only link up your bloglovin' account, please!

Hop around and visit some of the other blogs that linked up and give them a follow. This is all about making new friends and finding new reads, not just linking up and expecting everyone to follow you.

Pin, Tweet, Facebook, blog this link up! The more exposure it gets, the more potential followers for you! 



Your Host:


Your Co-Hosts:

Ashley @ A Fox & A Wolf
Torrie @ Fox + Hazel
Christina @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe
Natalee @ Eat Nap Play
Ashley @ Modernette

Guest Host:

Kendra @ Open Spaces

**If you are interested in being a guest host, please email us at b.you.blog [at] gmail [dot] com


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blog Design: 22 Free Photo Overlays

We are all about customizing your blog to make sure it reflects you and your content and attracts the readers you want. Another way you can amp up your blog posts is to add some photo overlays to your photos. What are photo overlays? They are fun images and bits you can add to your photos to personalize them more. I've rounded up 22 photo overlays that are totally free and totally awesome. Not sure how to use photo overlays? Hold tight - a tutorial will be coming soon! Then you too can make awesome photos like this:

Okay or more like this one:



22 Free Photo Overlays 
(also known as blog bling!)




via Sweetly Scrapped

via Olive & Ivy (formerly Yours Truly)






via Olive & Ivy (formerly Yours Truly)




This one has literally hundreds of texture and patterns you can use!










How excited are you now? For real. Check back in a couple weeks for a post on how to use these awesome overlays if you aren't familiar!


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Friday, May 31, 2013

Some Favorite Blogs: Part 1

Sometimes a blogger needs inspiration. Actually, to be completely honest- I should say, "You, as a blogger will always need inspiration!" Your brain can only do so much on its own before you need to refuel it by looking at some pretty nifty blogs across the web!

I personally, try to refuel once a week (but that's just me)- usually on a Saturday morning when I really can't get much work done. I usually have a good hour or two of quiet before the weekend starts with my husband- so this is the perfect time to browse through my favorite blogs (and Pinterest), find inspiration, pin certain ideas or loves, and then digest it all, the following two days while I'm off.

Because I'm a food blogger mostly, my blog loves are usually going down that road. But I love to gander through home and DIY blogs, as well as just "pretty to look at" and design-focused blogs.

Do you need inspiration? Are you feeling like you could use a few new blogs to frequent so your brain can refuel? Here are just a few of my absolute favorites!

INSPIRATION BLOGS

These are the blogs I look at and usually sigh with relief. They're my "pretty to look at" and "find big time inspiration" blogs. 

Creature Comforts not only blogs about delicious color combinations, but she also showcases pretty neat gift ideas, simple DIYs, and all around gorgeous photos to excite your creative brain. 

Love & Lavender was one of the first blogs I started following. I just love them. True, when I first started following I was a newlywed, and so all things wedding were my cup of tea- but I just can't seem to NOT come back again and again. They post some of the most beautiful wedding (and party) ideas!

Wit & Whistle is such a gorgeous blog. It's simple, tidy and pretty to the point. Amanda has a knack for creating art and crafts that are sure to ignite your creativity. Plus her greeting cards are a crack up! Truly one of a kind.

Rebekka Seale is another blog I follow because it calms me and yet sparks my creativity at the same time. Her whole aesthetic is simple, yummy, and absolutely gorgeous. There's something about the way she writes that's like a lullaby- it's soothes me. Plus her pictures! Oh her pictures! I just love them. (She also posts some amazing recipes as well!)

I think I have a simple/gorgeous aesthetic theme going on here- Bleubird follows suit with the last two blogs mentioned. Gorgeous pictures, neat DIYs, simple recipes....just lovely.


HOME, DECOR + DIY BLOGS

These next few blogs are the ones I go to when I'm looking to accomplish something in particular, looking for a craft idea, wanting to learn how to do something for my home, easily...need a blog design element tip, a blog "how to", etc.

Hank & Hunt is a great source for simple party DIYs (and I mean GREAT source) and amazingly gorgeous fonts!

Oh, Hello Friend is another blog I've followed for a LONG time. I even call Danni my friend now. Awwwww. She's so very talented when it comes to DIYs, packaging ideas, and gorgeous design elements. Plus she has a brand new shop where you can buy things like washi tape, rubber stamps, and all things cute + packaging + gift ideas + office stuffs!

Kevin & Amanda is pretty much my number one choice for blog design and just plain "blog" help. If you've got a weird question, they've most likely already answered it, in blog post form.

Lovely Indeed is a great source for simple (yet awesome) DIYs for the home, gift ideas, and for parties. Plus Chelsea uses such gorgeous color choices for all her crafts and does a lot of travel talk as well! I love this blog as much as I love her quirky (funny as heck) personality.

Apartment Therapy and Design*Sponge are both blogs I visit when I want to get inspired to change something in my home. Great place to see "small space idea solutions", as well as crafts on the cheap, real people's design ideas, and all things artsy!

FOOD + BAKING BLOGS

Be still my heart. My favorite category of all. (Surprised?) These are some of the blogs I frequent when I need some kitchen inspiration. And boy do I leave inspired!

Deliciously Organic is amazing. The end. Carrie is one of the sweetest and most down to earth food bloggin' gals I know. She specializes in all things organic (duh!), as well as gluten free and Paleo. 

The Faux Martha's whole aesthetic just kills me- I'm so in love with it. Her pictures make me swoon each and every time. From good 'ol mac and cheese to upscale dutch oven bread- her recipes never disappoint. They're easy and oh so yummy!

Love & Olive Oil is (again) another blog I've followed for a long time. Lindsay and Taylor have some serious talent! Every recipe makes my mouth water and their pictures are seriously amazing. Having already put out a cookbook, and currently working on a second, they're a great recipe "go to" source! Plus they love cats. And I love cats. So that's awesome.

Elana's Pantry is a new one for me, but I'm already in love! A friend recommended it to me when I mentioned I was looking to eat less starch and gluten. Elana's got you covered! Focusing on strictly gluten free, it's a great place to find recipes that are yummy (I've tried a few) and easy to make! Plus I love that she doesn't ONLY use those expensive gluten-free flours! Win!

Oh, Ladycakes is just like The Faux Martha- I just love them to pieces!!!!! Love their look, love their recipes, love their pictures!!! Some creative cats we have here (see what I mean about the cat thing?) Although Oh, Ladycakes focuses also on gluten free and mostly vegan recipes ;) Don't let that stop you though!

Hope you're all seriously inspired! What are some of your favorite blogs out there?

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