WHEW. BoyfriendMan and I returned hom from Costa Rica, spent a week catching up on life and work, and have been hosting friends and family at The Farmhouse (the fitting nickname for our cute little house) for the past week. I’d say it’s slowing down soon, but that’s just not the case. I’m traveling this week for meetings, and have a couple more family trips planned in October in November to see BoyfriendMan’s family in San Diego and Utah. Bestie/long-distance lover Jenn is coming to visit in a week and a half (YAY!), and I am so excited to
kidnap her and keep her in show her around Portland.
In general, life has been busy and lovely, and these are a few of the things taking up my brainspace and time these days.
Parents in PDX
As I mentioned, my parents just spent a week out in the Pacific Northwest. They arrived here in Portland last Wednesday and stayed here until Saturday morning, when they took off to Seattle for a few days. Chris and I drove up to meet them late on Sunday and had the most fun and delicious dinner at Ray’s Cafe in West Ballard with my parents and some of our friends. On Monday, I strolled around the Pike Place Market with them and we had chowder at the best place ever (Pike Place Chowder is tucked away in Post Alley).
On Monday night, we had amazing seats for the Mariners vs. Orioles game at Safeco Field. My parents are huge baseball fans and like them, I’m trying to see every MLB ballpark I can get to. Safeco was my 11th, and definitely a favorite. I tried scoring the game (it’d been awhile), and while it wasn’t perfect, I kept up! [Clockwise from left: me and Chris, the scored destruction of the Mariners by the Orioles, me and Ma, and our fantastic seats behind the visitors' -- in this case, Baltimore -- dugout].
While in Oregon, we spent what seemed like the majority of our time wine-tasting. My dad works in a wine shop in Minnesota, so we made sure to take my parents to tasting rooms in Hood River (Cerulean, Cascade Cliffs, and Quenett).
We also visited two wineries during their visit as well (Panther Creek in McMinnville, and Vista Hills in Dundee, where Chris and I are wine club members). This is the view from Vista Hill’s deck (“the treehouse”) overlooking their rows and rows of vineyards on the Dundee hills.
We ended up with SO MUCH GOOD WINE at home during the evenings they were here, and happily shared with friends who found themselves at our place during their visit as well.
One of the best parts was FINALLY making it to Cheese Bar, a cheese and charcuterie shop on Portland’s east side. I’ve heard so much about this place and have been meaning to make it in there to check it out, and just kept putting it off. We stopped by there on the way back from Hood River and spent about a half hour getting the best, most thoughtful (and perfect) recommendations for pairing with the wine we’d just bought.
Putting together a cheese, charcuterie, and fruit spread for dinner two nights in a row was perfection. I could eat like this just about every night. I mean, we had figs and apples and cheeses and baguettes and baby heirloom tomatoes and dark chocolate. CHOMP.
Speaking of Jenn, I recently brought her on board Eff Yeah Media for my print design needs (and she’s amazing, you should hire her). I love working with her not only because I adore her and she’s super smart, but because she’s so interested in learning more that she spends her free time doing Photoshop tutorials and then sends me emails with the subject line “Look what I learned!” and a GIANT glittery, sparkly banner with my name and blog’s tagline on it magically appears on my computer screen. I mean, this girl just GETS me.
As you can see, I liked it so much that we turned it into a blog header. If you’re reading this in a reader, you have got to jump through just to see this header. It SPARKLES.
From the Fairy Blogmother
My work right now is split really nicely between client work (social media strategy and management, and content development) and what I’m calling my Fairy Blogmother work (you guys gave me that nickname, I’m just running with it).
I’ve written two posts to start answering the questions you posed when I posted my Resource Development Survey. Finding Time to Blog and Blogging With Personality are up, and new resources are being flushed out right now. One idea I had about resources to create wasn’t asked for specifically on the survey, but many of you have emailed me with related questions about SEO for bloggers, and I’m wondering if that’s something I should put some time into for you. These are the types of questions I’ve answered from bloggers lately:
- What does SEO even mean and why should I care?
- What is Page Rank and is it important? How can i increase mine?
- I want people to find me because I blog about [insert topic here] and want to be known for it. How can I rank higher in Google search results?
Months ago, I included a brief overview on some of these things in one of the emails that went out to the subscribers of 52 Weeks of Blogging: Writing Prompts, Tips, and Resources for Bloggers. I’ve been tossing around the idea of developing this further and publishing a more comprehensive guide specifically for personal bloggers, but I want to make sure that’s something you’d truly find valuable. If you want to be kept posted on the progress and release of such a resource, let me know:
Click here to let me know that you want to be kept in the loop about a specific SEO for Personal Bloggers kind of resource.
Or, if SEO’s not what you’re looking for, but something else is, you can tell me that here:
Click here to let me know what blogging-related topics you’d like for me to cover either here or in a future guide.
So, right now that’s how I’ve been spending my time. What’s up with you?