Alyssa J Freitas

Friday, April 24, 2015

3 Steps To Ruthlessly Purge Your Blogroll

If there is one thing I love it is reading blogs. I get so terribly excited when I discover a new blog to follow! What I notice however, is that I usually end up following far too many blogs (you know when you open Bloglovin' and there are over 100 unread posts #scared) and end up spending more time trying to get through all of the posts instead of enjoying the content.

3 Steps To Ruthlessly Purge Your Blogroll | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

So what is a girl to do? Ruthlessly purge. Here is how I organize my blogroll and how I decide who stays and who goes.
  1. First figure out what categories the blogs you read fall into. If you go to your picture in the top right on Bloglovin' and click "edit blogs you follow" you can see a list of all the sites you are subscribed to. By going through this list you'll see patterns emerging. I mainly follow blogs about Fashion, Lifestyle, and Blogging. 
  2. Next, create groups and put every blog into one.
  3. Now the real fun begins, revisiting each blog and determining if you want to keep following. When I immediately recognize the name of the blog and know I like it, then I don't bother visiting it. But if I'm not certain, I revisit and see if any of the last 3 posts really interest me. If they do, great! If not, bye bye. 
When you decide if you want to keep following, be harsh! Remember that your time is valuable and you should be intentional with what you consume. Only if reading the blog brings value to your life, by teaching, inspiring, or entertaining you, should you keep coming back. This is also a good time to reevaluate your own blog. If you were to visit your site during a purge, would you keep following?

How do you clean up your blogroll?

-AJF 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Work/Life Balance

Get excited for another linkup with the lovely ladies from The Well! You can check out my other posts through the link-up here. This month's question is How do you achieve work/life balance? This question has been on my mind quite a bit recently as I've struggled to strike the perfect chord between work and play. I am certainly guilty of "working" far more than I "play", but frankly, I wonder if that is a bad thing?

Work/Life Balance | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

We (I) tend to try and compartmentalize areas of my life. If you ever took a look at my calendar and saw all of the color coding you'd find that I attempt to categorize EVERYTHING. What I've begun to realize is that there is actually a lot of overlap in what we do.

I don't believe that there can ever be a strong line drawn between any of the areas of our lives. Especially in an age where we can take our work home with us (thanks email...) there is in my mind no perfect way to achieve this "balance" we search for. For example, as I'm writing this post I'm sitting in the lobby of a hotel in Houston for a sales competition. Is drafting this post work? Well, I do have a deadline in place, but I really enjoy writing this, so is it play? Is this competition work? I have been working very hard to get here and to do well, but I'm also with friends and we're having a fun time, so is it play? You see, there can be no clear division particularly when you enjoy everything you do.

And that's the key I believe: enjoying what you do. If you like your work then it is not truly work. And if your play is productive, who's to say it's not work? The measure of this balance then is your own level of happiness. If you find that you feel like you are stressed and taking on too much, then it is time to pull back. Conversely, if you are not achieving all you want to, then it may be time to make a change and focus a bit more.

How do you feel about work/life balance? 

-AJF

Be sure to check out the other posts in the linkup!

The B Bar 26 and Not Counting Rae Loves Sarah Hartley Carrie Loves Soak and Simmer The Not Quite Adult White Cabana PreppyPanache LiskaMonet Rossetto With Love From Ellie Cake & Lilies Feathers and Stripes Leigh Clair White Oak Creative Life Modifier Perfect Enough for Us Random Little Faves Jacque Of All Trades Business Betties Girl for Granted Alicia Tenise The Yuppie Flies It's Droolworthy Something Good Blog Elana Lyn Forth Chicago Emilie Lima Burke Manifest Yourself Fit for a Bride Blog A Little Leopard Coral and Cognacs Little Wild HearIt's Julien Boys and Bombshell Meg Biram Victoria McGinley

Monday, April 20, 2015

Etiquette: Dining Edition

Just in case you didn't know, I love etiquette! I've posted on this topic before, but here is a slightly updated version.
Etiquette: Dining Edition | ayssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Let's first get started with the place setting.


Don't be overwhelmed, my friends! We'll take it piece by piece.
  • Starting at the top left you have your bread plate and butter knife. Always keep your bread on your bread plate. If you have to take butter from a dish in the center, take a small amount with your butter knife and place it on your bread plate. The proper way to eat bread is to tear off a bite size piece, butter it with the butter you have already put on your plate, and then eat it. Although this is a more lengthy process, this method will prevent you from any struggle you may have biting the bread and is also more clean and refined. 
  • Next, at the top middle, you have your dessert fork and coffee/tea spoon. These two items are pretty self-explanatory. 
  • Then comes the water goblet and wine glass at the top right. Once again, these items are self-explanatory.
  • At the right hand side is your tea or coffee cup. It is important to note that you should hold your saucer underneath your cup when you sip. This will catch any small spill you may make. 
  • Going back to the left are your forks. It is easy to remember that you should usually work your way from the outside in with each course. Another rule of thumb is that the fork will get bigger with each progressing course. 
  • In the middle is your soup bowl and plate. If you don't know the use of these it's time to give up :). 
  • On the right you have your knives. The same general rules apply for use of knives as for forks.
  • Your soup spoon is also on the right. It is easy to identify your soup spoon because it will be the biggest. 
  • Last is your seafood fork. You will always know that this is your seafood fork because it is separated from all of the other forks. Also, here are some general rules of table etiquette to keep in mind. 

Here are some other general rules to keep in mind:

  • Ladies, no purses on the table, even if it is a clutch. 
  • Place your napkin on your lap immediately when you sit down. You should fold the napkin in half with the fold facing towards you. If you need to leave the table place your napkin on your chair. At the end of the meal, the napkin should be placed on the table.
  • When getting to the end of your soup you may tip the bowl ever so slightly away from you to aid in getting the last bits. 
  • When cutting, your fork should be in your left hand and your knife in the right. Your fork's tongs should be facing downward. When you have a bite on your fork you do not need transfer your fork from your left hand to your right. Your left hand is perfectly capable of bringing a fork to your mouth. If you want to go continental style and transfer hands, you certainly can, however I am a fan of the European style just described. 
  • If you need to be excused a simple "Excuse me," will suffice. Unless there is an emergency, there is no need to state a reason. 
  • Absolutely no texting or talking on the phone at the table. If you need to use your phone for an emergency, excuse yourself. 
  • When you have finished place your utensils at four o’clock on your dish to make it easier for the wait staff to remove it. 
  • Lastly, do not comment on others' table manners. There is no need to point out mistakes. Hopefully, they will learn by watching your good example!
Are you already a champion dinner? Is there anything you think I missed?


-AJF

Friday, April 17, 2015

Theme Song Of My Life

I absolutely LOVE music. I think that is true of most people. We can get joy and happiness out of listening to music, have someone verbalize our deepest emotions, and connect with others. I particularly find that music provides me with an escape and as an agent of transporting me to another world. This is especially true when I listen to Bollywood music, or just foreign music in general.

Theme Song Of My Life | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

One song that I have always identified with since I first heard it, in a Shahrukh Khan movie of course, is "Jiya Re." You could say that it is the theme song of my life and I would say that you are right :) I think it is important for everyone to have that song they can turn to which will make them happy and ready to take on the world. Whenever I listen to "Jiya Re" I am empowered and excited for what is to come! *Click the CC button on the bottom right for English subtitles*



What is your theme song? How does it make you feel? 

-AJF

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Why I Don't Stress About Analytics

There are many, repetitive pieces of advice floating around the blogsphere. There are words of wisdom like "content is king," (no duh...) and posts compelling you to join every blogger network in existence. While there is certainly a lot to be said for recommendations such as these, I am particularly against the emphasis placed on analytics.

Why I Don't Stress About Analytics | alyssajfreitas.blogspot.com

Now, for those running their blog as a business it is of course very important to be able to communicate with a company the reach of your readership and to look at your audience in a critical way. However, if you are a blogger who does this for the love of the craft, it does not make sense to stress about analytics.

When first I set up Google Analytics I compulsively checked my stats (sort of like I do with the price of gold, but I've yet to break that habit...) and would find myself disappointed if I didn't see the numbers increasing fast enough. What I failed to realize is that the 'success' of your blog does not have to come down to numbers. In fact, when I thought about, I value the interactions I have with my readers (through commenting, on twitter, etc. I get so excited when I hear from you!) rather than simply the number of readers, the bounce rate, or the unique visitors.

Another reason I'm not particularly fond of using analytics to profile my readers is that I think it takes away from the dynamics of each one of you. We hear about the "ideal reader" all of the time, and using demographic information just serves to try and box a person's preferences. When I post I try and think not only about the vast majority of my audience, but also what would be valuable for others or a different, non-boxed perspective.

What are your feelings on analytics? Are you a fan, an enemy, or something in-between?


-AJF
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