My Chocolate Moments is on Facebook

Guess what…I finally created a Facebook fan page for My Chocolate Moments!  About time I entered the 21st century, huh?

You may have noticed that I’m not blogging nearly as much as I used to.  Or maybe you didn’t notice and I’m not as missed as I thought.  Sad.

Anyhow…

There’s a sweet little guy in my life who is making blogging a little more difficult (and less of a priority) these days.  Having two hands free (not to mention a chunk of time long enough to get my thoughts organized) is hard, but boy can I wear out my iphone during those long nursing sessions!  I thought I’d start a Facebook page so I can stay connected to my readers.  At least then I can post some short statuses (status’? stati?) and pictures until I have time to write more rambling wordy posts.

Photo Mar 16, 9 05 55 AMHudson is more excited about this than he seems.  Promise.

Photo Mar 19, 3 36 49 PMActually this is what he has been doing the whole time I’ve been working on the new page…sacked out in his Moby Wrap.

Will you join me?  Look over there on your right.  No, your other right.  (just kidding…I know you all know right from left, right?).  See where it says “Join Me on Facebook“?  Click there to go to my Facebook page.  Make sure to “Like” it so you can stay updated with new posts and other fun stuff.

I’m looking forward to it!

facelift

Things may be getting a little bit of a facelift around here soon.  I’m working with someone on a new blog design that we’ll hopefully have up and running in the near future.  Before it changes, I wanted to take a look at my current theme so that I can, for one, document it for when my theme does change, and two, because I created this all from scratch with no prior knowledge of blog design, which I’m pretty proud of and want to make sure I remember that for later :)fondueThis picture of fondue from one of our date of the month nights is the header I’d been using ever since I started my WordPress.com blog in August of 2011.  Because of the limitations WordPress had, I could upload my own picture but I couldn’t really change anything else about the way my blog looked.  So basically it was just their plain theme with my picture at the top.

When I switched over to WordPress.org in August 2012, I had the freedom to design more but I didn’t know how so at first I just used the same image and left the rest plain and boring.

blue linksSee?  Pretty blah.

While I like the picture of the chocolate I didn’t really like the primary colors that the strawberry and pineapple had.  Plus I wanted my blog to reflect my personality…and I’m not really a primary colors type of girl.  That’s one of the main reasons I made the switch.  However, I didn’t want to pay the steep prices that many graphic designers charge to create a personalized blog theme.  If I had a blog that served as a business or source of income it would probably be worth it, right now my blog is just for fun and so it’s hard for me to sink $100+ in to “decorating” it at this point.

So I decided I’d give it a shot myself and see what I could create on my own.  I have to say, I am incredibly proud of how it turned out!  It took hours and hours and HOURS of Googling and reading to even begin to figure out first how to move my blog over from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and the how to design a custom theme.  It was exhausting.  I felt like my rear was permanently glued to the bed where I sat for hours on end wrestling with this thing.  I don’t know that it really was worth the money I saved to sink all that time into it, and I doubt I would want to do it by myself again, but it was fun to challenge myself and learn about what goes on behind the scenes to get the words from my head, typed up, and out there in cyberspace.

At the time, I thought I might write up a tutorial of sorts of how to move your blog and how to create a simple theme, but so much of what I did was trial and error that there is no way I could remember exactly what I did and convey that succinctly.  I’ve got a ton of links bookmarked that I referenced but no desire to read back through them and piece together which link goes with what.  So, no luck on the tutorial.  But I do want to show off a bit of my blog design, so that I’ll have it archived and can look back at it someday :).

Again, this took a lot of trial and error.  I went diving into the world of CSS, graphics, hexadecimal colors, etc. and then would just change things on my custom theme and observe how that affected the look of my blog.  Like I said, it took FOR.EV.ER.

All the “graphics” I made are super elementary and were all created using picmonkey.

I knew that I wanted to go with a coral theme.  If you saw pictures of my wedding you know that I LOVE coral, pink, yellow, and orange together.  Since that’s my favorite combination of colors, I decided to use that for my blog.  I made a gagillion header options it seemed before finally coming up with the finished product.

Here are some of my “rejects”:
coral border polka dot resized header new font polka dot resized header rectanglesI finally came up with the finished product, the one you’re used to seeing at the top of my blog:

new banner

Next came all the other little embellishments.  Again, all these were made in picmonkey.

current blog(hey look, it’s like a blog-within-a-blog!)

I created navigations buttons to link to various pages on my blog, changed the font and color of the titles, turned the background pink, and made custom buttons/labels for the sidebar.

about mea cute little welcome blurb

more sidebarmore cool sidebar stuff

blog buttonI even created a button you can grab and embed on your own blog.

signatureA signature that shows up at the end of every post

comment comment 2Some pretty, coordinating comment sections, plus a custom gravatar that matches my theme and shows up when someone doesn’t have a picture attached to their name.

trademarkEven a little note at the bottom that says who created the them (me!).

So that’s my coral blog theme.  For someone with zero prior design experience, I’m pretty proud of myself.

Although I think my coral theme will have a special place in my heart since it was such a laborious learning process and my very first design, I’m way, way excited about this new theme that’s in the works (more about that soon).  Who knows, I may come back to this one some day for nostalgia’s sake, but for now, prepare to see a wee bit of interior design going on around here :)

my favorite posts from 2012

I thought I’d do a little round up of some of my favorite posts from 2012 for those of you who might want a little light reading this weekend ;). There’s nothing super special about each of these posts, I just happen to like them. Some are humorous some are serious, some are just recipes or tutorials…enjoy!

(click on the link under each picture to take you to the post)

parmesan lemon basil broccoli

Parmesean Lemon Basil broccoli

card keeper book tutorial

Card-Keeper Book Tutorial

fear

My Struggle with Fear

me

25 Random Things About Me

baby name blocks

Baby Name Blocks

welcoming-church

How to Be a More Welcoming Church

sticky note surprises

Sticky Note Surprises

star bellie sneetch tutorial

Star Bellied Sneetch Shirt Tutorial

Life Planner review

How I Use my Erin Condren Life Planner

icing bag trick

Mess Free Icing Bag Trick

pain scale

Scales of 1 to 10 don’t work for me!

book-themed-party

Book Themed party

petals

Pictures from Our Wedding

file50shadesofgreycoverart

Regarding Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike

zipline

If you told me I’d be ziplining I would have laughed at you

facebook

My Top 10 Facebook Pet Peeve’s

0512-motherlode-elisabeth-badinter-mdn

The Motherhood Double Standard

banana-mocha-smoothie

Banana Mocha Smoothie Recipe

classroom-organization-tips

Classroom Organization Tips

school-pictures

School Pictures

love

Unconditional Love

customized-teacher-plan-book-tutorial

DIY customized lesson planner

how-does-she-coconut-oil-hair-treatment

Coconut Hair Oil Treatment

DIY-Kindle-case1

DIY e-reader case tutorial

pizza-sauce

Homemade Pizza Sauce

cats

What I Don’t Miss about Apartment Living

how-not-to-sell

How NOT to Sell Your House

poodle skirt

Funny Things My Students Say

kids

Family Rules

Gap-Long-and-Leans

The Gap Conundrum

changes coming soon!

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Yep, I’m moving…

chocolatemoments.wordpress.com is moving to mychocolatemoments.com!  Eeepps so exciting!

Please be patient as I work through the kinks during the next few days.  Hopefully the transition will be pretty easy, but no promises.

It should *fingers crossed* redirect you to the new blog, even if you go to chocolatemoments.wordpress.com (or if you have it saved as a favorite or something) so there shouldn’t be much of an interruption.  If you subscribe via email, you should still be able to get my posts in your email once I move, however, if you are a WordPress.com subscriber (that is, you follow me through WordPress rather than getting an email when I send out a new post) I think you will need to come over to the new blog and subscribe via email.

Anyway, lots of exciting things come up.  I’ll keep you updated.  I’m pretty sure you won’t notice much of an upheaval on your side of the blog but I wanted to give you a heads-up just in case I screw something up and the site goes down for a while.

blog domains and hosts {Works for Me Wednesday}

Ok, technically this is an “I need help Wednesday” post rather than a “works for me Wednesday” post because I need you lovely readers to give me some tips and advice this week.  I love blogging but I do it as a way to share my thoughts, not to do all kinds of cool technology things.  That part eludes me.

As of right now (as you can obviously see here) I’m blogging using wordpress.com.  Just the really basic, free wordpress.com.  What I’m wanting to do is to customize my blog a bit more, which from what I’ve read means I have to move my blog elsewhere.

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This is what I’ve gathered (but please, feel free to correct me!):

First I need to purchase a domain name (i.e. .com rather than .wordpress.com).  The only places I know of to do so are GoDaddy.com and Register.com.  For those of you who own your domain name, did you use either of those services?  If so, have you been pleased?  If not, what do/did you use?

The second step is what is giving me a bit of anxiety.  I really like WordPress.com and I’m quite fond of the fact that they do all techy stuff for me – spam filters, storage, etc.  However, they limit the add-ons and plug ins you’re allowed to use and there are several that I’d really like to have.  So…I want to move but I’m scared to do it myself because I don’t want to lose everything I’ve written so far.

From what I can find on the WordPress.com support blog, they recommend I move my blog to WordPress.org.  In order to do that I have to choose a host for my blog.  They have a list of recommended hosts, but the only one I had heard of is Go Daddy.  What host do you recommend?

WordPress also offers a service where I can pay and have their “Happiness Engineers” transfer my blog to the web host I choose.  This may be the best choice for me since I’m not confident about doing it myself.  Any thoughts on that?

Ok, so what I’m really looking for is someone who started out with a WordPress.com site and has since moved elsewhere.  I’d love to hear what you did to make that happen.  And even those of you who don’t use WordPress, I’d still appreciate any thoughts or advice you have (or links to tutorials, etc. that are written for non-techy people like myself).  I also know there are people out in blogland who do blog designing for other bloggers, but are there any people who would move my blog for me (for a price that wouldn’t require giving up my firstborn)?

Yikes!  So there are my big questions.  Please comment if you have any advice!

one lovely blog award

I feel so honored to have been nominated by Encourage One Another Daily for a One Lovely Blog award!  It makes me feel so good to know that people like to hear (read?) what I have to say (write?).

As part of my instructions, I’m supposed to tell 7 facts about myself and then nominate 15 other blogs that I would like to give this award to.

7 things about me (this is kind of hard since I recently posted 25 random things about me!):

1. I love big earrings

2. I’m really clumsy

3.  I don’t like my food to touch

4. ironing is my least favorite household chore (although vacuuming is a close second)

5. I’m right handed, but I’m left eye dominant (I use my left eye when looking through the viewfinder of the camera, I close my right eye and use my left when shooting, etc.)

6. I’ve never had a nosebleed (and let’s hope that never changes!)

7. I like the smell of fresh asphalt

15 of my favorite blogs – that inspire me, that I love to read, and that I think totally deserve this award:

To accept this award:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.

2. Paste the award image on your blog.

3. Tell 7 facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other blogs that you would like to give the award to.

5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen and let them know about the award.

I’m still here

But with nothing interesting to say.

I’m staying with my parents while Michael is at training.

I haven’t gotten out of my jammies all day and don’t intend to.

Most of my day has been spent working on grad school assignments and looking for jobs.  Also napping.  And drinking apple cider.  And looking at pictures of us from when we were little.  Silly.

My newest blog crush is Kayley from Sidewalk Ready.  I just discovered her blog recently via Pinterest (duh, where else?) and I think she is fashion fantabulous.  I’m jealous of her super cool outfits.  And her awesome hair.  Check her out.

Speaking of hair, I tried to do my hair like this last night for church

source found via Pinterest

It wasn’t quite as cute as the picture and pieces kept falling out but it was fun to try.  I’ll do it again.  Maybe I’ll even post pictures but it’s kinda hard to take pictures of the back of your own head, ya know?  I know because I tried to last night.  Fail.

Someday when I decided to wash and/or brush my hair again, I’m going to learn how to twist my bangs using this tutorial, also found via my love Pinterest.

I might try to learn how to use my sewing machine tonight.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

What’s new with you?

my dream scrapbooking room…I’m drooling…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading blogs for several years.  One of the blogs I love is Kevin & Amanda.  I basically have a blog crush on Amanda – she is super cool.  I found her blog a few years ago when I Googled “scrapbook rooms” and a post about her AMAZING scrapbook room came up.  Head over to her blog to check it out, but here’s a peek: Is that amazing or what?  If you click on the link above, you can even use the interactive feature on her post to see details about each part of the room (I just took a screenshot so I could show you her room; I hope she doesn’t mind – I’m still learning blog etiquette).

Then I discovered the free fonts that Amanda creates? offers? I’m not sure how that works exactly.  But anyway, she turns people’s handwriting into fonts that you can download and type with.  I love them and use them all the time when I make signs for my classroom; I even used them to create a pi day t-shirt at school a few years ago.  Once I learn more about blogging maybe I can use them here too.

She also has some really great recipes.  I made her chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes for a super bowl party with church friends and Mom and I made her Reese’s chocolate peanut butter cake for my birthday.  Both were rich and amazing!  Those cookie dough cupcakes were to die for!  Here are pictures of both – these are my very poor pictures, her food pictures are much better so look at the ones she posted.  I just wanted to show what they looked like when a less than professional cook (me) made them.  Someday, ya know in that far away world where I get my scrapbooking room and super nice DSLR camera and all, I’ll take fantabulous pictures of my food too.

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes – plain (yellow? white?) cupcakes with cookie dough in the center and buttercream frosting that tastes just like cookie dough – yummylicious!

chocolate cake, with chopped up Reese’s baked in the cake, with peanut butter frosting, and more Reese’s covering the outside – chocolate peanut butter heaven.

So now that I sound like the craziest stalker ever, you should go check out Amanda and her blog.  I love to live vicariously through her travels, pictures, food samples, and her mad blog computer code making thingermajig skills.