One Year Sweeter

Today is the one year anniversary of the Sugarlump, which means I have lived in Nashville for almost one year.  Man, does time fly.  I have a few reflections to share on this momentous day:

While I started this blog mainly to capture moments of my life that I never want to forget, it has proven to be so much more.  It eased me through the transition to my new home.  It has kept me connected to my family and friends who regularly read the Sugarlump and comment.  In turn, it assures them that I am alive and well.  Some of my extended family members and family friends have probably learned more about me through reading my blog this past year than they had learned about me in all the years they’ve known me combined.  Whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know.  I’m just putting it all out there.

Most surprisingly, The Sugarlump has connected me to new friends who I know only because they have found my blog or I have found theirs.  Who knew complete strangers would take the time to leave a kind note or helpful tips?  This blog regularly reassures me that this world is indeed full of good people.

This blog has given me the motivation to learn more about photography as it provides a great outlet through which to share the thousands of photographs I have taken since moving to Nashville.  I apologize to my readers who don’t care for cats or weather reporting.   I hope to get out more this summer.

Though I am generally journaling-averse, writing posts has been a kind of therapy for me.   It helps me to find joy in the little things as I reflect on my day.  It puts things into perspective.  It keeps me connected in a more meaningful way.  I never would have thought I’d call myself a blogger, but a blogger I have become.

And even though I have slacked off on the blogging as my life has become busier in Nashville, I hope to continue celebrating blog anniversaries.

Thanks to my faithful readers for all of your “likes” and comments.  You make my day.

Love y’all,

Sugarlump

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Very Inspiring Blogger Award II

A gigantic thank you to the Meandering Matriarch for nominating me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  I always enjoy your blog and I am so flattered that you frequent mine!

In accepting this award, it is my pleasure to complete the following:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated me.
  2. Post the blog award image on my page.
  3. Tell 7 facts about myself.
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs and let the nominees know they been chosen.

7 Things About Me:

  1. I love regional sayings.   One of my new favorites is “a hitch in your giddy-up.”
  2. I collect aprons.  I try to buy one whenever I travel to a new place as a memento.
  3. It’s on my bucket list to see the Northern Lights.
  4. I don’t like to exercise.  I like to have exercised.
  5. My favorite magazine is Real Simple.  The older I get, the more I like to keep it real and simplify my life.
  6. I love cars and have since I was a little girl.  I even collected diecast models in 1/24th and 1/18th scales for several years.
  7. I’m almost always hungry.

To my nominees:  thank you for inspiring me with your stories of all varieties.  You teach me new things, you make me laugh, and you help me to get more out of my day.

  1. http://whyilovewesttexas.com/
  2. http://samanthajuneblog.wordpress.com/
  3. http://littleblogontheprairie.com/
  4. http://workhomebalance.wordpress.com/
  5. http://wherethegreengrassgrows.org/
  6. http://hgriffin.wordpress.com/
  7. http://diaryofacookiecutter.wordpress.com/
  8. http://piewithsparkles.com/
  9. http://healthyeatsandsweets.wordpress.com/
  10. http://sweetspellbaking.wordpress.com/
  11. http://forkmeetspoon.wordpress.com/
  12. http://outtakesontheoutskirts.wordpress.com/
  13. http://awhiskandaspoon.com/
  14. http://mrspenpen.wordpress.com/
  15. http://gingymakesstuff.wordpress.com/

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump

“One Lovely Blog” and “Inspiring Blog” Awards

A gigantic thank you to the Unconfirmed Bachelorette for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog and Inspiring Blog awards.  You’re too kind. 🙂

In accepting this award, it is my pleasure to complete the following:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated me.
  2. Post the blog award image on my page.
  3. Tell 7 facts about myself.
  4. Nominate 15 other blogs and let the nominees know they been chosen.

7 things about me:

  1. I realized at age 19 on an amusement park ride that I am somewhat claustrophobic.
  2. I don’t have a favorite color as I prefer different colors in different contexts.  As a designer, I’d like to think I could make any color appealing with the right companions.  Except mauve.  I really don’t like mauve in any situation.
  3. I’ve never broken a bone. 
  4. I love wholesale clubs.  Especially ones that carry 5lb bags of Ghirardelli 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips.
  5. There was a period in my life when I shopped almost exclusively at Gap Boys.  Thank goodness that phase is over.
  6. On a semi-regular basis, I have dreams (nightmares) that I am late for high-school lacrosse practice and don’t have athletic clothing, a lacrosse stick, a mouth guard, goggles or my locker combination.  I don’t know what this means, but I’m sure it’s serious.
  7. Two of my favorite TEE-vee shows are Reba and Dexter, which could not be more opposite.  I think that just about sums me up.

 And, now, for my nominees:

  1. http://thecountrychick.com/
  2. http://silvermoonfarm.wordpress.com/
  3. http://apronhead.wordpress.com/
  4. http://beautifulsimplemeaningful.wordpress.com/
  5. http://undertheskysofark.wordpress.com/
  6. http://seasonsgirl.wordpress.com/
  7. http://twocatsviews.wordpress.com/
  8. http://lynettemia.wordpress.com/
  9. http://blog.humbleabode.com/
  10. http://emsbytes.wordpress.com/
  11. http://barbellsandbuttercream.com/
  12. http://threepointskitchen.com/
  13. http://thisbountifulbackyard.com/
  14. http://goodlifefarm.wordpress.com/
  15. http://finickydesigner.wordpress.com/

A lot of the blogs I like have the same theme that I do.   I wonder: Do I like these blogs because I like the theme? Or do I like these blogs because the writers like the same things that I do and therefore I feel a connection?  Seriously, like half of the blogs I nominate have the “forever” theme.  It’s so warm and nostalgic.  So informal and yet tidy looking.  It’s how I like things to be.

Y’all hurry back,

Sugarlump

Super Sweet Blogging Award

A big ol’ thank you to Texas and Carine over at Texas, a Cat in New York for nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award!  You are so sweet to nominate me.  I am very touched.  🙂

1.       Cookies or cake?

I’m big on texture and I love the fluffiness of cake against a nice, rich icing.  But I really like cookies, too.  This is hard.

2.       Chocolate or Vanilla?

CHOCOLATE.  ALL.  DAY.  LONG.

3.       What is your favorite sweet treat?

Rainbow cookies from Roma Bakery in Bluebell, PA.

4.       When do you crave sweet things the most?

At all times.  I have a big, bad sweet tooth.

5.       If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?

That’s easy:  sugarlump!

Now, I would like to pass along this award to a baker’s dozen of sweet blogs:

  1. http://catbird365.wordpress.com/
  2. http://observetal.com/
  3. http://aikoyoshida.wordpress.com/
  4. http://kaitlynkirby.com/
  5. http://splashofsomething.com/
  6. http://ramblingsfromjewels.wordpress.com/
  7. http://countrygirllifeonthefarm.com/
  8. http://the-dairy-maid.com/
  9. http://westeastern.me/
  10. http://ninagarden.wordpress.com/
  11. http://homeon129acres.wordpress.com/
  12. http://kathyschronicles.com/
  13. http://crazycowboywife.wordpress.com/

Thank you for sharing your sweetness!

Sweet dreams y’all,

Sugarlump

The Addictive Blog Award

Thank you to Peggy Isaacs for nominating me for the Addictive Blog award.  I’m so glad someone else enjoys my little furballs as much as I do!

Award Rules:

  1. Thank the person awarding you.
  2. Share a little about why you blog and how the journey started.
  3. Paste the blog award on your page.
  4. Nominate 10 other bloggers you feel deserve the award.

Why I blog:

I started this blog as a way to capture sweet memories and experiences in my life and share them with my family and friends.  I was inspired by the Pioneer Woman, who I first discovered on the Food Network and whose blog I now read religiously.  Even though I’m not a huge fan of writing, somehow writing posts (to go along with the absurd amount of pictures I now take) has turned into a sort of ritual of reflection through storytelling.  It makes me feel more connected and appreciative.

Somewhat coincidentally, I started this blog just before I moved to a new place on my own and it has been a great way for my family and friends to keep tabs on me and see what I’m up to in my new hometown of Nashville.

Unexpectedly, I have met some wonderful bloggers through this journey, who make my day when they “like” my post or leave a kind comment.

I don’t know where I’d be without this blog.

Blogs I find Addicting:

  1. http://thesimplecountrylife.com/
  2. http://annewheaton.co.uk/about/
  3. http://auburnmeadowfarm.com/blog/
  4. http://thehappyfiles.wordpress.com/
  5. http://texascatny.wordpress.com/
  6. http://icanhas.cheezburger.com/
  7. http://thecatniptimes.wordpress.com/
  8. http://littlemiao.wordpress.com/
  9. http://mecookyummyoneday.wordpress.com/
  10. http://homestead101.wordpress.com/

Thank you to my nominees for making me smile, laugh, scratch my head and reevaluate my life on a regular basis.  I’m hooked.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

Sugarlump

One Lovely Blog Award: Take II

To Amber at http://wordsbecomesuperfluous.com/, thank you for sharing the love and nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award!

In accepting this award, it is my pleasure to complete the following:

  1. Write a post linking back to the person that nominated me.
  2. Tell seven things about myself.
  3. Pass on this award to some wonderful blogs by linking their sites to this post and notifying them of their nominations.

Seven things about me:

  1. When I am interested in something new, I become obsessed and want to know everything about that something and/or be good at that something immediately.
  2. I can make a horrific mess in the kitchen.  My dad says I must be a good cook if I can make such a big mess.
  3. I learn best by observation.
  4. I have an overactive imagination.  This is very helpful in my profession as I need to be creative and able to visualize spaces.   This is very unhelpful if I am home alone, have just read a murder mystery, and my house is making settling noises.
  5. I love fall.
  6. For the past 10 years, I have vacillated between wanting short hair and long hair.  Every couple of years, after growing my hair out, I chop off a solid 10 inches or so.  I’ve done this 3 or 4 times now. When I was younger, I did the same thing with bangs.  Every year or 2, I would grow out my bangs (not a good look) and then, when they had finally grown to the length of my hair, I would chop them off.  And then I would cry about it.  I’m sure my mother was not pleased with this pattern.
  7. Siri freaks me out a little bit.

To my lovely nominees: thank you for sharing your passions, talents, wisdom, and adventures.

  1. http://threelittlewildflowers.com/
  2. http://simplyomblog.wordpress.com/
  3. http://photophilian.wordpress.com/
  4. http://nebraskawheatie.com/
  5. http://futurefarmerslivehere.wordpress.com/

Y’all hurry back!

Sugarlump

The Sunshine Award: Take II

A big ol’ thank you to Rachel at Being Mrs. Crashaw for nominating me for The Sunshine Award!  Learning that someone enjoys my blog never ceases to delight me.  Thank you, thank you!

In accepting this award, it is my pleasure to complete the following:

  1. Blog a post linking back to the person/blog that nominated me.
  2. Answer some questions, nominate ten fellow bloggers and link their blogs to the post.
  3. Comment on my nominees’ blogs to let them know I’ve nominated them.

Some particular thing about me:

  1.  Who is your favorite philosopher?  My cat Gus.  He is so wise.  Just kidding. He is not exactly a philosopher, but I am drawn to Wendell Berry’s philosophy about the power of nature and our responsibility to take care of it and learn from it always.
  2. What is your favorite number?  22.  It has always been a lucky number for me and it was my number in field hockey and lacrosse throughout high school.
  3. What is your favorite animal?  This is a toughy.  Almost any baby animal melts my heart.  Except rodents.
  4. What are your Facebook and Twitter URLs?  http://www.facebook.com/#!/TheSugarlump  @thesugarlumpgrl
  5. What is your favorite time of day?  The morning if I have a lot to do and the evening if I’ve gotten a lot done.  But if I really must choose, I suppose I would say I love sitting on a porch and watching the sunset in the evening.
  6. What was your favorite vacation? Probably a trip to London I took with my mom in middle school.  It was my first time in Europe and I was very interested in seeing all of the architecture.  We had a great time going to all of the castles during the day and taking in some fabulous musicals at night.
  7. What is your favorite physical activity?  Rearranging my furniture.  Really.
  8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Milk.  Although I no longer drink it out of a sippy cup, it has always been my go-to beverage.
  9. What is your favorite flower?  I love the smell of hyacinths, but I always have hydrangeas in my house that I cut from my garden.
  10. What is your passion?  Creating.  I love to design and build things.   It all started when I arranged my little plastic chairs in the form of a minivan at age 4.

And now, some very sunny?…shiny?…sunshiney? (you know what I mean) blogs that I would like to nominate for The Sunshine Award:

  1. http://kansaslovebird.com/
  2. http://themuddykitchen.com/
  3. http://fivenorthernacres.wordpress.com/
  4. http://sweetlittlethang.wordpress.com/about/
  5. http://areturntosimplicity.wordpress.com/
  6. http://catsnco.wordpress.com/
  7. http://littlewifeontheprairie.wordpress.com/
  8. http://petit4chocolatier.wordpress.com/
  9. http://angela426.wordpress.com/
  10. http://theworldthroughoureyes.com/

Please complete the first list above to accept this award.  Happy blogging, nominees!

Y’all come back!

Sugarlump

Let Go and Remember

I have days where I get myself all wound up in a knot about silly things that don’t really matter, but I let them bother me.  Sometimes I blog about these things and other times I don’t because they’re not even worth the energy to write about.  And then, just when I am about to go bonkers over the stupidest thing, someone writes a comment on my blog that cuts to my core and makes me realize that some things aren’t worth stressing over, because in the grand scheme of things, they just don’t matter.

I have written several posts about my sister leaving for Paris for a semester.  I am very excited for her, and yet I will miss having her just a car-ride away.  A fellow blogger commented on my most recent post about my sister leaving, saying that it brought tears to her eyes over her sister that she lost not so long ago.  She thanked me for sharing my story.

Reading that brought tears to my eyes and reminded me how important it is to focus on the things that really matter, like the ones you love and the memories you have shared.  Thank you to my blogging friends for reminding me how much there is to celebrate.

Love y’all,

Sugarlump

Search Terms

WordPress has some pretty spiffy features that allow you to track and analyze your wordpress.com site.   You can see how many page views you’ve had that day and the past few weeks in bar chart format.  You can see where your page has been viewed from across the globe.  You can see which of your posts were viewed and how many times, which links people clicked on from your site and how people arrived at your site.  You can see what you had for breakfast everyday for the past month, where all of your high school friends live and how many pairs of shoes you’ve owned over the course of your life.

Just kidding on that last bit.

I think.

There is really an incredible amount of data that could probably be analyzed to develop a complex strategy for getting more page views, but I just like to look at it and take it all in.  After that, I don’t do a whole lot with it.

While I always check my page views when I sign in, I think my favorite feature to check out is the box of search engine terms.

Now, many of these make sense such as “old cookbooks” or “sister birthday” because I have dedicated entire posts to these topics.  Others, not so much.

Here is a good sampling of search terms that have led people to the Sugarlump:

  • Birdhouse in tree
  • Cat shoes
  • Fried chicken using Crisco all vegetable shortening
  • Sweet potato experiment
  • Scarlett’s birthday
  • Planting pot with dirt
  • My cat Gus
  • Men who love flower gardens
  • Love old cookbooks
  • Sugar sayings
  • Taller sister
  • Dirt rocks
  • Sugar and scared child
  • Growing roman beans
  • Drought sugar 2012
  • Annie Ruby’s café tomato
  • Strawberry one pot biscuit
  • Infant possum
  • My cheetah print chair
  • Dramatic clouds
  • Forced to wear aprons
  • Two people tap dancing
  • Qtip addiction
  • Minnie mouse canopy bed
  • Is Eugene a southern name

Although WordPress doesn’t calculate this statistic for me, I have taken it upon myself to do some extensive trigonometry and differential calculus to determine that in 35.87242% of these searches, the Sugarlump was a relevant result.

Obviously, the result was intriguing enough for 64.1276% to click on the Sugarlump even though I haven’t had anything to share about infant possums or Minnie mouse canopy beds.

Yet.

I would like to thank all of the search algorithms out there for providing me a good laugh on a regular basis and for sending some completely unprepared, soon-to-be baffled souls to the Sugarlump.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump

P.S.  Various versions of “eugene sugarlump” and “sugarlump eugene” are by far the most popular search terms.  I don’t know what to make of this just yet.  I’ll let you know after I do some more long division.

Cottage Cheese

Although I try to post (almost) everyday, sometimes I just can’t pull it all together.  And I subscribe to the rule, “If you can’t blog something nice/interesting, then don’t blog nothin’ at all.”   Yesterday, all that came to mind was “tired. need sleep.” so I decided to cut my losses and go to bed.

Today, however, I have some news to report: turns out cottage cheese is not half-bad.

In my desperation to find something quick for dinner at the grocery store last evening, I happened upon cottage cheese as I was passing between the eggs and the sour cream (two things I really like). Now, I’ve had some brief experiences with cottage cheese in the past, but we never got along that well.  I decided it was finally time to give it another chance.

After I got home from the grocery store, I prepared a robust and balanced meal of cottage cheese and steamed broccoli.

(It could have been worse.   At least there was some nutritional value.)

Anyway, I actually kind of liked the cottage cheese and I ate it again this evening.   I might even eat it again tomorrow and the next day.

After that, I will probably be tired of it and not eat it again for a few years.

That’s just the way I am with food.  I become obsessed with things and then I can’t stand the thought of them for a while.

I think I need to review my self-imposed blogging rules.

Let me try again:

Hey there,

Welcome to Tuesday’s post.

I saw a lovely sunset the other night on my walk/run.  Ralk? Wun? Trot?

I’ll work on that some more.

And one more random story for the road:

I did some laundry yesterday and I have yet to fold it.  Miss Scarlett thought these sheets and towels made a perfect nest on top of her favorite chair.

Bliss.

I’ll do better tomorrow.  I promise.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump