blogging

westward bound

One month from today, I will be hopping on a plane pointed west, headed straight to where Tony Bennett left his heart.

For five days I’ll be playing tourist in the land of sea lions, sourdough, and fog named Karl.

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Make sure you check back here and on my Instagram for up to the minute vacation shenanigans!

Also, this is my 300th post! What?!

THIS IS MY 300TH POST

That’s a lot of Harry Styles talk.

Let’s try for 300 more!

thank you for being a(n internet) friend!

If you’re reading this as soon as I get it posted, then I’m sorry for being kind of late. If it’s tomorrow morning or later already, then where were you?

I noticed on Twitter that today is Internet Friends Day. So, I’m here to celebrate you! Quite frankly, I would have given up this space a long time ago if it weren’t for the people who read, comment, share, like my posts. Well, those who do that and who I don’t know in real life. Hence, internet friends.

Thank you for liking my tweets, following my Facebook/Bloglovin’ and double tapping on my Instas. Thank you for allowing me to do the same. I could be a real creep sometimes. Thank you for not making me feel like a dork when I leave a comment.

I’m what they call a “perfect blogger”. I post regularly, I have fun, thought-provoking, well-written content. I share that content on all forms of social media. I always know what to say and how to say it. I don’t harp too much on a certain topic, I don’t overuse gifs or commas. AND I’M NOT SARCASTIC. AT.ALL. Perfection is something that one must work on so if I had to pick one thing that I could work on, it would be commenting on other people’s posts. What (I think) I’m trying to say is, if I comment on your posts fairly regularly, you’re in my blog tribe. My blog besties, if you will.

This is where I’d insert pictures of us doing fun things together if I had any. But I don’t so I’ll just leave this here. And, if you’re so inclined and want to photoshop me into a picture with you (or vice versa), send it to me and I’ll add it here later.I’d do it but I’m lazy and not that talented.

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Anyway, here’s to all of you! Thank you for being a(n internet) friend!

i know this post makes sense in a “technical” way, but i also know what i said didn’t match what i wanted to say and it, to me, came out a little thrown together. i’m not going to stress over it because it’s late. even though i love you guys, there’s always next year.

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three.

Yesterday was my 3 year blogiversary and guess who forgot.


I blame a mix of it being a manic Monday at work and for some reason, I have it in my head that the real anniversary is the 13th, but being that I can’t fathom it being that late in December already, I thought I had some time.I guess I could just go in to the archives and check the date of my first post and get a definitive answer, but that takes like 5 extra mouse clicks and who really has the time for that?

You guys should know by now how I feel about this blog. I’m proud of this little website that could. I still have to work on a posting schedule and getting myself out there more but, like most things in my life, it will all fall into place. And if it doesn’t, oh well. I’ll live. The blog will live. Even when I can’t think of things to write for the life of me Or when I repeat things incessantly. Because those things will (probably) never change.

So here we are. 3 years in the can. Can’t wait to see what the next one brings!

a little redecorating

You’ve probably noticed there’s been some redecorating around here. I’m still working on it so stay tuned for the finished product! On a related note, does anyone know how to customize their blog on WordPress but not make it go live until it’s really ready? Because this reveal would have packed a bigger punch if I was able to premiere it all at once, no?

On a related note, does anyone know how to customize their blog on WordPress but not make it go live until it’s really ready? Because this reveal would have packed a bigger punch if I was able to premiere it all at once.

Oh well. I’ll work on it tomorrow, with fresh eyes!

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if i say “strap” one more time…

Ugggghhhh. I have two other posts that I wanted to get up. WHY ARE THEY NOT EVEN WRITTEN?

Sorry, I needed a moment. I will get those posts up, they’re actually that delayed weekend update from last week that I was going to break into two posts. I’m working on it.

Anyway.

Along with talking about Harry Styles (i’m starting to think i’m bringing him up on purpose now. #yolo), sharing my photos of Central Park and generally complaining about life, I like to use this blog to share things with my fans whoever is reading it. This is one of those posts.

Somewhere near the middle to the end of last year (the year before?) I bought myself a camera scarf. It’s the best invention ever. It’s a camera strap made out of a nice, wearable scarf. I used it all Winter. It kept my neck warm and my camera safely around my neck. I used to use the strap that came with the camera but after it opened and fell right off, thankfully in a pile of sand, I decided I needed something else. This year, on my annual pilgrimage to Macys to see the Christmas windows, the scarf got stuck in the zipper of my camera bag. Long story short, it got physical and now I need a new camera bag and my scarf got ripped.

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coincidentally, i can use this GIF for many aspects of my life. #dramaqueen

Since then I’ve been on the hunt for either a new scarf or a new camera strap. Then I bought my new Nikon 1 J5 and my search went into high gear. I went back to Etsy, where I got my first camera scarf. I went straight to that shop but there wasn’t anything that was screaming “BUY ME”. Don’t get me wrong, I loooveee the product, I just didn’t want to buy something just to buy it. Back to the search page I went. Finally, I saw the most perfect scarf strap. I immediately went to the shop and fell in love.

Introducing: Peace Grenade

*let me first apologize for these pictures. I was too excited to attach my strap to my camera to plan anything out. Also, I have not yet mastered the flat-lay. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

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The strap is black and white stripes with flowers on it. Very Kate Spade, which I’m all about. There were four options for the ends – black, white, gold and glitter. Obviously, I wanted to keep mine simple, so I went with the glitter.

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I placed my order on Saturday night and got it Monday afternoon. I didn’t even have to pay for expedited shipping! By that alone, this shop earned so many brownie points. Shipping costs/time are one of my biggest pet peeves, but that’s for another post. I feel like I should add, the keychain rings that are shown in the above picture are mine. The photos on Etsy showed rings and I assumed they came with the strap. The original cords alone would never fit where they’re supposed to go on my camera. I should have emailed the seller or paid attention to the description, but it’s fine. No harm, no foul.

The flip side of the strap is a satin-y material which will be nice and soft around the neck. The strap is padded also, which is great because my new camera’s lens is heavy. The best part about this experience is the seller threw little hearts cut from dryer sheets into the envelope. YUM. excellent touch.

I’m already stalking Love Grenade for new styles and planning on my next purchase. i want them all, no joke.

Go over and check it out! Like, right now. Perfect gift for your photographer friend or favorite blogger, maybe?

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Don’t get mad ’cause I’m asking 21 questions…

Well, maybe not 21, but a few. I’m doing things a little differently for this post. First, I have to direct it towards my fellow bloggers. Today I want to turn the tables and ask you guys a few questions. If you don’t blog, you’re more than welcome to hang out. I have lots of other posts that may interest you. Or you can read this one. Whatever blows your skirt up.

I’ve been doing a lot of obsessing thinking about this blog and what I can do to make it grow; live to its full potential. Since I consider (mostly) everyone who reads my blog a friend, I thought I should come to you guys with some things that have been rolling around in my mind. What are friends for but to over analyze everything that’s going on in each other’s lives?

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I feel a little weird asking these questions because, well, I kind of feel like they’re personal in the way of asking someone their yearly salary. Like, kind of rude, but I’m dying to know. I’m going to talk about my concerns too, so we’re all in this together. Anyway, let me just get them out.

How much attention do you pay to your site stats? How many views do you normally get in a day?
I’ve mentioned before that my site stats are usually really low. There are some days that I will steadily be at zero and then I’ll open my home page on my phone, check the stats, see a new view and then realize it was me. The days that I actually post something are a little better, but really, not by much. Sometimes I’ll have 15 views all day, sometimes 20. If I hit 30, I’m shocked. If I write something that is not “for the blog” (like photo dumps, Mindy Project recaps, or my dream wedding to Harry Styles) and ask my friends to share it, my numbers go up, but not drastically. The post that brought my largest amount of views in one day was this one, but as you can see, it was from a while ago.

What link-ups do you recommend?
I LOVED participating in Blogtober with Taylor and Helene. The biggest reason being I was introduced to many of you guys. The second was that I felt like I was really gaining exposure. My views were going up, my comments were flowing. It was fun! Then November happened and I really felt lost. I’ve been on the hunt for more great link-ups. I’ve found some, but I usually forget to post, or I’m unprepared for them when they come up. For example, I want to participate in the Show Us Your Books link-up from Life According to Steph, but I never have my reading list ready. Or I feel like I haven’t read enough. Excuses? Probably, but, have you met me?

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whatever, MAUDE.

What form of social media works best for you? Have you ever created an ad/promoted your page or post on Facebook?
I have all of my posts set to share on Facebook and Twitter instantly. I have a link in my Instagram bio. Occasionally, I’ll share posts to my personal Facebook, but not all the time because when/if I write about work on here, I don’t want my co-workers to see, just in case. It’s weird because sometimes I want to be totally private with this, yet have everyone in the world read it. #torn. As for Facebook, my ads and boosts have been getting rejected. Once it was for foul language in the title (this little gem) and I’m not sure why they were rejected the other times. do i smell? 

How can I get published on sites like ThoughtCatalog or BlogHer or Bustle? Is it worth it?
I know I can Google this. I actually have Googled this. I just wanted to know any insider’s tips. If you’ve been published, how did you get them to notice you? Other than your fantastic writing, of course!

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How important is commenting really? When you comment more, do you see a difference?
Everyone says to grow your blog, commenting on others is essential. I do my best to comment, but honestly, I don’t see a difference. Also, sometimes, as in life, I don’t have anything to say. I know I should comment “Great post!” or something to get my name out there, but I really don’t want to be fake. Not that sending a quick complement is fake. I want to be genuine and to me, that means having more to say than a generic comment. Like when you didn’t know what to write in someone’s yearbook so you went with “Have a great summer! KIT” #awkward. The other thing that makes me not want to comment on some blogs is when the blogger doesn’t answer. Taking the really big bloggers out of it, what’s up with that? Why should I take the time to think of something to say if you’re not going to answer me? I try my hardest to make sure I respond to any comments I get and I’m really bad at things like that. I’m constantly in trouble for not answering text messages. If I could do it, you can too! That’s enough rambling.

Do you use SEO? Does it help?
I have an SEO plug-in installed on my WordPress. I try to use it everytime I write a post. I don’t know if it’s doing anything because nothing seems to be different. How obscure should the focus keyword be? Or how not obscure? I know Google could help me with this too, but since we’re here, I figured I’d ask. And, again, if you have any special tips, I’d love to hear them!

And finally (for now)…

What would you like to see from me?
I know I get into writing ruts and I tend to get obsessive, so if you have any suggestions or things you want to discuss or get my highly intellectual opinion on, (complete with relevant GIFs) just let me know!

Leave a comment here or, if you want to contact me privately, all of my links are on my Contact page.

Thanks, guys!

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two years

Hi, my name is Martina and I am the worst blogger in the blogisphere. Besides the fact that I’m constantly at a loss of what to post and usually wind up posting about the same things all the time (speaking of, i have the final installment of the 5th Ave tour coming sometime next week. it’s festive; leave me alone.), the other day was my blogiversary and I let it pass.

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It’s been two years since I hit the Publish button on my first post. Now here I am, super famous, fabulously wealthy and finally able to let this puppy run itself. In my dreams.

I’d be lying if I said this was the easiest thing in the world to do. And I don’t even do it regularly. Between “not having anything to say” and obsessing over my (dismal) site stats and figuring out when to post and how to share them, keeping up this little space on the internet is hard work. But I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t love every minute of it.

I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my “blog world” friends. It’s funny how in real life it takes forever to consider someone a friend. Yet, on the internet, which we all know can be the most scary place to be, I feel like I have found the best people to hang out with. They’re smart, funny, supportive, and care as much about the status of Harry and Taylor’s totally dead relationship as I do. Well, for the most part. Thanks for putting up with me, guys! (which is exactly how i sign my real life friend’s birthday cards every year.)

So cheers to two years! And hundreds more!

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the shot i didn’t take

It was mid-May. One of those days where in the shade it’s cool and breezy, but in the sun, you schvitz. I was on West 49th Street near the corner of 6th Avenue. It had been a long day already. It was the day Lisa and I had walked from Harlem through Central Park to Rockefeller Center. It was crowded; summer was coming. The sun was setting and my feet were tired. It was time for a cupcake. In the crowd of people I noticed a woman dressed in tattered clothing, obviously homeless. Using the crowds to her advantage, she asked for money. She may have asked for other things but, being the seasoned New Yorker that I am (stop laughing, Lisa) I ignored her and stepped into the sugar sanctuary that is Magnolia Bakery.

Armed with sugar and the promise of caffeine, I braved 49th street again. This time, I noticed that the woman asking for money was sitting against the building. She looked sad, like she was a child being admonished for something. In front of her knelt a woman dressed like a 90’s mom. She was face to face with the homeless woman, holding her hands. I heard her say, “what did I tell you about doing this?” She said something about getting help. Apparently they had met before. The street was still crowded with no place to stop. Sidestepping our way down the block to an open space, Lisa turned to me and said “Why didn’t you get a picture of that?” My excuses were lame, “My hands are full and I couldn’t get to my camera.” “I’ve been taking pictures all day. All I want is this cupcake and to sit for five minutes.” The shot I didn’t take.

The truth? I didn’t take the picture for two reasons. One was that I legitimately couldn’t get to my camera in time. There were people everywhere. I’m generally a hot mess. The second, and more important reason was that I felt like I’d be invading their privacy. Whatever moment they were having was so intimate that I didn’t want to interrupt it. Did I miss an opportunity, or as Lisa puts it an “award winner”? Yea, probably. Do I regret it? Definitely. The shot I didn’t take.

Ok, Martina, let’s get this train into the station.

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now. It got away from me, I didn’t know what to say, am I capable of posting something without using gifs? Most importantly, how was I going to write something about a picture without having a picture to show? The internet works in mysterious ways and over the past day or two I have seen posts (from Allison & Heather) talking about putting down our phones and cameras, taking off our blogger hats and just live in the moment. In a way, that’s where I tried to go with this, but I got caught up with the CMAs, YouTube and Sam Hunting.

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Bottom line: In life there’s always going to be a shot you didn’t take. Moving for that dream job, asking that cute guy/pretty girl for their number (ugh. that’s a whole ‘nother post.), literally not taking a photo of something you wanted to remember forever. Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe it means we’re living our lives the way we’re supposed to. We’re on the right track and we’re enjoying the view. Taking it all in. Living in the moment.

What shot didn’t you take?

Let’s discuss!

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sweater weather tag! (totally not the candle)

The other night I was scouring the internet for something, anything to inspire me. I was in my usual funk of I have things to say but don’t know what to write. I went through all of the writing prompts on Pinterest, tried to come up with a witty list, possibly entitled 20 Things To Do When You’re Home Alone That Doesn’t Involve Hulu or Netflix. Except, what is there to do besides catching up on Hulu and Netflix when you have the TV to yourself? I was about to give up when I clicked the refresh button on my Reader. Up popped a new post from Kristen over at Peaches and Poppycock. It was a tag! And she tagged me! ask and you shall receive. So, thanks Kristen! She put a limit on her word count, but you guys aren’t getting that lucky with mine.

So, without further ado:

favorite candle scentLeaves by Bath and Body Works or Home Sweet Home by Scentsationals (you can get it at Walmart. it’s actually those wax cubes for the tart warmers. wax that smells good = candle)

coffee, tea or hot chocolate?  first of all, if i’m drinking coffee, it’s iced. second, I like all of those beverages so it just depends on my mood.

what is the best fall memory you have — i don’t really have one. early fall usually reminds me of school and sometimes i forget how old i am and i start to look for my backpack to get my homework started. old habits die hard, i guess. honestly, the only other thing that comes to mind is doing blogtober last year. i really loved that challenge (and a challenge it was!) and all of the people i’ve “met”/found because of it.

best fragrance for fall — Chloe by Chloe or Burberry Body

favorite Thanksgiving food — Stove Top stuffing. sorry, i’m just not a fan of the homemade ones. my aunt also makes this corn bread/pudding thing that i would eat the whole pan of if i could.

most worn sweater —  i don’t wear a lot of sweaters because i’m always warm.

football games or jumping in leaf piles — ohh tough choice. i’m going to go with football games. we all know i feel about men in uniform.

favorite type of pie —  apple or cherry, both with vanilla ice cream.

what is autumn weather like where you live — gorgeous. and the views aren’t bad either.

which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged liner — dark lips, hands down.

what song really gets you into the fall spirit —  the monster mash?

is pumpkin spice worth the hype — it used to be and then starbucks thought it would be cute to release it in august. then dunkin donuts, for some reason, decided not to release their apple cider. NOT COOL. how else are we supposed to fight against the great pumpkin (spice)?

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favorite fall TV show —  does “You’ve Got Mail” airing on ABC Family (or wherever) count?

skinny jeans or leggings? — leggings if i could find a long enough, light enough sweater or tunic. otherwise, skinny jeans. who am i kidding? elastic waistband for the win.

combat boots or Uggs — gun to my head? Uggs. but really, riding boots.

Halloween: yay or nay — nay. or should i say nae nae?

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fall mornings or evenings — do i have to choose? 

what do you think about Black Friday? — it’s cool, but no thanks. too many people, too much pressure. i think it’s bullshit that stores are not giving their employees a chance to enjoy the holiday. opening at 6pm on thursday? by that time, my pants are still buttoned and i’m not looking for the fennel to help me to digest yet. #italiansolutions. i mean, what kind of shit is that?

one Fall 2015 trend you love — blanket scarves #baaaasicccc

Now for the tagging.

I tag:
Libby @ Honestly, Libby
Mallory @ Mallory Can’t Even
Laura @ Life with Lolo
Allison @ AA
Anyone who wants to do this. Really! Feel free.

Can’t wait to see everyone’s answers! Just make sure you tag me or leave a comment or whatevs.

Later gators!

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Jenny knows what’s up

This is going to be a really quick bonus Jonas post.

I was going through my reader and saw that the hilarious Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, had made a post about the “death” of blogging. I just wanted to share a quick quote from that post.

Except I guess it’s not really the end because now that I’ve brought up the question of whether blogging is dead I’m probably expected to flesh it out.  Except that readers here know I never flesh anything out properly so I suppose I’m off the hook.  Which is exactly what blogging is all about.  It’s about writing whatever crazy shit you want to write and having some people say “YES!  I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE” and some say “What the shit is wrong with you?” and 99.99% of the world say nothing because they don’t know I exist.  And that is blogging.

If you’ve been around long enough and have maybe gotten a comment or response from me, it will probably read something like, “OMG you too?” so I know exactly what Jenny is saying. Every blogger knows exactly what Jenny is saying. Except when she says that 99.99% of the world doesn’t know she exists. Homegirl has two books out. She’s definitely on the world’s radar, in the best way possible.

If you haven’t checked her out, you should. She keeps it real and is so funny. Like, actually smiling when you’re reading, funny. She probably doesn’t need me to send people over but hey, I’m a nice person. However, if she sees this and wants to send people here, I’m ready and would be so greatful!

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