Earth Day Birthday

Let’s all sing, now!

Happy blogiversary to you…
happy blogiversary to you…
happy blogiversary, dear Megactsout…..
happy blogiversary tooooo yoooooouuuu!!!

Yep, I’ve been at this 3 years. It’s kind of appropriate that the blog-o’s b-day is Earth Day, even if my topics aren’t (always) about eco-friendliness. It’s still always in the back of our heads and the depths of our hearts, so I guess it’s the foundation of this weird, sensitive little spot on the interwebs. Heck, my first post was even about Earth Day and how the movie “Food, Inc.” inspired me to think differently about our eating (and ecological) habits. So, there’s that.

My first anniversary, I forgot…or skipped over, or whatever. Maybe I was still too high on being married for 6 months, or too excited about visiting friends (and getting some decor inspiration) in Massachusetts for yet another awesome wedding, or too busy posting embarrassing video to show off our boring house. Y’know, doing earth-shatteringly important things. ๐Ÿ˜‰
Last year, I did up the 2nd anniversary. I was eager about the fact that we’d had over 6,000 views — we now have close to 16,000. That blows my mind, folks! I’ve started posting consistently (most of the time) three times a week — Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays — in case you haven’t noticed. I’d like to thank Blogger’s advanced scheduling option for that!ย 

Over the past year, we’ve had lots of events happen, both personally and on a greater scale. We’ve been lucky enough to welcome a special little guy to our family, I’ve tackled breastfeeding, made a little bathroom progress, and, on a graver note, dealt with some more serious issues locally. I’m hoping to regenerate my hope and faith in the world and start to give you some more uplifting posts, but it’s taking time to dig out of the depths of hopelessness — especially as the world continues to show its evils so often.

So, anyway, I thought I’d use the same exact wording I used last year to see what YOU like to read (or hope to see more of) around this joint. After all, while I’m doing this ‘cuz I like to do it, I’m also doing it to hopefully help other folks in their lives. Here goes…

Beyond saying “thank you,” (but, seriously, THANK YOU!!!) I want to ensure that I keep any readers and potential followers happy. That being said, I’d appreciate some Blogiversary Back-Talk. Call it constructive criticism. Call it a virtual suggestion box. Call it “what would I rather read” feedback. Whatever we call it, I call it a huge help as to determining the direction of the blog, and it helps provide some focus.

Here are some suggestions of questions/ideas that you can respond to in the reply section. If Blogger is being naughty (as it often is!) and won’t let you reply, feel free to leave a message or comment on my Facebook page. Whatever way that you choose to get information to me (I’ll keep an eye out for homing pigeons), it’s greatly appreciated!

– What are your favorite parts about the blog? Your least favorite?
– What topics do you look forward to reading about?
– How do you feel about the design, organization, and appearance of the blog?
– Would you read more if I posted more? Less?
– How do you feel about baby stuff? More/less? (Same goes for cats…too much? Too little? Just right?)
– Do you just read for the amusement factor, or are you interested in green living or DIY (which I’m hoping to do more of) or recipes or what?

In the past, I’ve heard “Just keep doing what you’re doing”, which I appreciate hearing…but with a tad more information, I can streamline what I write and remind myself of reader interests. It matters! And it’s appreciated, lots!! So please, over-share as much as I over-share.

(On a side note, this week is my mom’s birthday…my niece’s birthday……and next week is mine! ๐Ÿ˜€ So, my blog’s in pretty good company. Fine ladies, fine ladies.)

Tough Room

I often find myself trolling the Internet, bouncing from one blog to the next. There are plenty that just don’t do it for me and rare ones that I become a huge, gotta-check-it-everyday fan of. Then, there are those in-betweeners. The ones that are plugging along, doing their thing. Their pictures may not impress, but their ideas (be they recipes or DIY projects or eco-friendly ideas or goodness knows what else) ring true. I end up wasting an hour clicking, clicking, clicking until I know the blogger; their baby’s name, the contents of their home, what they eat for dinner, and even their hopes and dreams.

Then, I shut down the computer and check the laundry, start dinner, and generally reconnect to my own reality. A few days later, I wonder about a recipe they posted and realize…I’ve forgotten their blog’s name. I may never hit upon it again, and move on.

As I read just such a blog (in this case small + friendly), I was struck by the harshness of blogging. I found myself reading and looking for reasons to be cynical and suddenly thought, “Crap. Am I one of THOSE?” I can’t be! I’m a blogger, myself (albeit a non-professional one). I have wicked esteem issues and know that there are “haters” out there, but am lucky enough that I haven’t taken any hits, myself, yet. Not real hits, anyway. It just makes me self-assess.

I might be looking for a reason to dislike a blog so that I DON’T have dozens to check on any given day. There was a time when I had the luxury of such a respite in my life. But, with a baby in tow — even after work before the baby gets home – there’s simply too much to do or be concerned with. I check out the cream that rises, ultimately lifting my spirits and opening my imagination for the day, leaving the skim milk on the bottom.

By doing this, I wonder if I’m leaving out pieces of goodness that have settled, too. Am I not supporting those who are working, heck, harder than I am; who deserve a look-see as much as I feel I do?

There’s so muchย  negativity to be found, even on the most popular of blogs. Heck, the Internet seems like a place that’s built for the worst of humankind’s foibles. Nameless, faceless (for the most part) people allowed to say whatever they want without any (for the most part) recourse? Remember when the teacher would leave the room when you were a kid and someone always got up from their seat or threw something just to test how far they could go? Yeah. We’re all children when on the Internet. The mean ones. And we don’t want to see others happy, fulfilled and successful…especially when we’re not.

No more Blue Meanie here. I’ll look more and for the positivity — at least when I find the time. It’s a lesson in awareness and tempering one’s criticism; one that I think we can all use from time to time.

Blogiversary!

Woohoo! Happy Blogiversary to…well, me! Wow, how conceited. Sorry, I’m just a tad excited about the fact that I’ve been over-sharing here at MAO for two years. I’ve even reached my 200th post! (If you like to play mathematician, that’s approximately 100 posts per year. Hooray for easy math! And I really should double those numbers.)

Man, a lot’s happened in those two years! We got married (a better description of our wedding festivities can be found here)…our family grewthen grew s’morethen we got outnumbered (okay, it’s starting to get out of hand now)…and, finally, it’s baby time. And think of what’s to come – I’m turning the big three-oh (if I don’t write the numbers, it’s not real, hee hee) very soon, and riiiiiiiight after school lets out, we should be welcoming our new bundle of joy. HUGE life changes. And you’d better believe that I’ll be writing about it all left ‘n right.

There’s lots that I could do to “celebrate” the blog’s birthday. Look at the numbers of readers and squeal over the fact that folks from all over the world have stopped by (seriously, places that I couldn’t pin on a map). Bake an organic cake and blow out a couple of candles. Do a happy dance with the cats…although Jasper would probably be the only one who’d be down with that. Drool over the fact that I’ve had over 9,000 page views…over 600 in the past month (it’s the little things that impress me).

But I’d rather just take a moment to shout a huuuuuge “THANK YOU!” from the bottom of my heart, just for reading my musings, even when I’m in grouchy mode or don’t finish a bathroom redo for countless months or get on my all-natural high horse. I adore the fact that folks read, regardless. It means the world to know that I’m not just writing for myself – although I’d still enjoy it. I do loves me some writin’…or else I wouldn’t be doing it, of course!

So, beyond saying “thank you,” I want to ensure that I keep any readers and potential followers happy. That being said, I’d appreciate some Blogiversary Back-Talk. Call it constructive criticism. Call it a virtual suggestion box. Call it “what would I rather read” feedback. Whatever we call it, I call it a huge help as to determining the direction of the blog, and it helps provide some focus.

Here are some suggestions of questions/ideas that you can respond to in the reply section. If Blogger is being naughty (as it often is!) and won’t let you reply, feel free to leave a message or comment on my Facebook page. Whatever way that you choose to get information to me (I’ll keep an eye out for homing pigeons), it’s greatly appreciated!

– What are your favorite parts about the blog? Your least favorite?
– What topics do you look forward to reading about?
– How do you feel about the design, organization, and appearance of the blog?

– Would you read more if I posted more?
– How do you feel about baby stuff? How much/little will you want to hear when they make their arrival? (Same goes for cats…too much? Too little? Just right?)
– Do you just read for the amusement factor, or are you interested in green living or DIY (which I’m hoping to do more of) or what?

In the past, I’ve heard “Just keep doing what you’re doing”, which I appreciate hearing…but with a tad more information, I can streamline what I write and remind myself of reader interests. It matters! And it’s appreciated, lots!! So please, over-share as much as I over-share.

(On a side note, this week is my mom’s birthday…my niece’s birthday……and next week is mine! ๐Ÿ˜€ So, my blog’s in pretty good company. Fine ladies, fine ladies.)

Blogiversary

Woohoo! Happy Blogiversary to…well, me! Wow, how conceited. Sorry, I’m just a tad excited about the fact that I’ve been over-sharing here at MAO for two years. I’ve even reached my 200th post! (If you like to play mathematician, that’s approximately 100 posts per year. Hooray for easy math! And I really should double those numbers.)

Man, a lot’s happened in those two years! We got married (a better description of our wedding festivities can be found here)…our family grewthen grew s’morethen we got outnumbered (okay, it’s starting to get out of hand now)…and, finally, it’s baby time. And think of what’s to come – I’m turning the big three-oh (if I don’t write the numbers, it’s not real, hee hee) very soon, and riiiiiiiight after school lets out, we should be welcoming our new bundle of joy. HUGE life changes. And you’d better believe that I’ll be writing about it all left ‘n right.

There’s lots that I could do to “celebrate” the blog’s birthday. Look at the numbers of readers and squeal over the fact that folks from all over the world have stopped by (seriously, places that I couldn’t pin on a map). Bake an organic cake and blow out a couple of candles. Do a happy dance with the cats…although Jasper would probably be the only one who’d be down with that. Drool over the fact that I’ve had over 9,000 page views…over 600 in the past month (it’s the little things that impress me).

But I’d rather just take a moment to shout a huuuuuge “THANK YOU!” from the bottom of my heart, just for reading my musings, even when I’m in grouchy mode or don’t finish a bathroom redo for countless months or get on my all-natural high horse. I adore the fact that folks read, regardless. It means the world to know that I’m not just writing for myself – although I’d still enjoy it. I do loves me some writin’…or else I wouldn’t be doing it, of course!

So, beyond saying “thank you,” I want to ensure that I keep any readers and potential followers happy. That being said, I’d appreciate some Blogiversary Back-Talk. Call it constructive criticism. Call it a virtual suggestion box. Call it “what would I rather read” feedback. Whatever we call it, I call it a huge help as to determining the direction of the blog, and it helps provide some focus.

Here are some suggestions of questions/ideas that you can respond to in the reply section. If Blogger is being naughty (as it often is!) and won’t let you reply, feel free to leave a message or comment on my Facebook page. Whatever way that you choose to get information to me (I’ll keep an eye out for homing pigeons), it’s greatly appreciated!

– What are your favorite parts about the blog? Your least favorite?
– What topics do you look forward to reading about?
– How do you feel about the design, organization, and appearance of the blog?
– Would you read more if I posted more?
– How do you feel about baby stuff? How much/little will you want to hear when they make their arrival? (Same goes for cats…too much? Too little? Just right?)
– Do you just read for the amusement factor, or are you interested in green living or DIY (which I’m hoping to do more of) or what?

In the past, I’ve heard “Just keep doing what you’re doing”, which I appreciate hearing…but with a tad more information, I can streamline what I write and remind myself of reader interests. It matters! And it’s appreciated, lots!! So please, over-share as much as I over-share.

(On a side note, this week is my mom’s birthday…my niece’s birthday……and next week is mine! ๐Ÿ˜€ So, my blog’s in pretty good company. Fine ladies, fine ladies.)

Blog Cliches

With all the blogs I waste hours of my life reading read, it’s hard not to pick up some of the language that the ladies use. (Seriously, 99% of the blogs I read are written by chicks. It is what it is.) While I do my best to maintain my own language, it’s only natural to be influenced. And, honestly, I’m pretty darn good at mimicry. If I was actually a good actress, I’d be better than darn good, but I do what I can. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, let’s see some of these oft-used blog cliches that I happen to really like, which we will inevitably be snickering at in less than 12 months with the arrival of even cooler (ie more ridiculous) terms…

Evah. As in, “It was the best day evah!” I suppose these are all examples of just fun conversational writing, which I’m not necessarily knocking. I’ve read a couple of scathing, over-indulgent blog posts shooting down much of what I truly love about reading and writing blogs. I want to hear the person’s voice. If they’re spelling correctly (or mis-spelling for the sake of silliness, as in “evah”), I’m happy. Heck, I even love one blogger who is notorious for accepting and self-deprecating her misspellings, which I respect. I’m not reading your blog expecting a professional journal, but if it’s filled with these cliches, I think you’re trying too hard. I know, you want to (not “wanna”) be the best blogger evah, but I’ve officially tuned you out now. :-\ I hope my readers don’t do that!

Wop wop. In case you don’t know, this is supposed to be the trombone sound that’s played when a bummer happens. This is another creative visualization that I actually appreciate. Anytime there’s a musical enhancement without having to throw in a YouTube clip, I’m all over it! And much more interesting would life be if, say, you burn the roast, take the lid off, look, then turn to some unseen camera with a “wop wop” sound in the background? A lot more, I’d say.

Lurve. Yes, readers over the age of 40 or 50 (particularly male), I am aware that “lurve” is from Annie Hall (a movie which I’d like Santa to deliver, if he reads this…). I’ve been told this on more than one occasion. Believe me, I love…lurve…classic film, and I consider it to be on that list. However, why do I doubt that a majority of the bloggers that use the term are aware of the usage history? I guess it doesn’t matter where it starts; it’s fun to use! As Woody Allen says, sometimes it’s necessary to come up with a new word when “love” just isn’t strong enough…

Wait for it. Hee hee. I enjoy this one. It’s so silly. You’re obviously not waiting, because you’re continuing to read. The next line will tell you exactly what you should be excited enough to “wait for”. Example: “We went to…wait for it…Vermont.” You can SEE the word in your peripheral! Hee hee. On the aforementioned nasty blog that slammed some of these phrases, it compared “wait for it” to stage directions in a play. So true! Oh, which reminds me – “Exit, stage right” needs to catch on.

Periods to articulate terribly important pauses. I do this all. The. Time. And, strangely, I like doing it. Obviously “The.” isn’t a sentence, nor is “Time.” And “I do this” is incomplete, as well. Yep, the grammatical inconsistencies (or downright errors) are palpable. But who cares? It’s fun, it breaks up the entry and adds a bit of flourish.

Awesomesauce. This is my current favorite. What’s better than awesomesauce? We’ll see what the future holds, shall we?

Blogspiration

Alternate Title: Blog Identity Crisis.
I love my blog. Clearly, or else I wouldn’t waste countless time playing around with it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I enjoy writing, picture-taking, sharing, and hearing positive input. Livin’ in the world of Web 2.0, baby! (Don’t get me started on Web 3.0 – it freaks me out. Although I guess I subscribe to a bit of it.) And, I’m pretty sure that enjoyment that I get is why my husband is so supportive of the time that I put into it. Woot, one million points to the hubby!

I think because I care so much about the darn thing, it bothers me a bit that I don’t necessarily have a clear blog identity jiving. I know, sometimes it takes time for this to happen. But, just as in life, it’s good to have an ultimate goal or objective in mind WHILE wandering down the path – which oftentimes shows a fork that you might not have expected.

What are some of the topics that I’ve covered thus far? Marriage/home life/a wedding (haven’t covered it as much as SOME blogs out there), cats-cats-and-more-cats, home ownership, green-ish living (currently we’re at more of a sage green than a moss, but we live consciously and consistently, and I’m proud) and, to an extent, non-traditional philosophies, food, attempts at simplifying life, a tad bit of decor…and much, much more. Oh, and recently I opened an off-shoot Etsy page. It’s pretty damn random, and I’m shocked that I have any readers at all. It’s a pretty selfish page. Writing about my grandmother’s hands, really – who cares? (Other than me…and family members.)

It makes me think: what am I really passionate about? If I want to put more into this blog, what should the focus be?

I don’t want to alienate my readers by picking one path in particular to write about. I also know myself – in case you haven’t noticed, there are times that I procrastinate, or projects that I start take forever (sometimes out of laziness, sometimes out of having zero free time to work on them, and sometimes out of fear of messing up…case in point: the bathroom); so, setting ONE goal for myself would be daunting. If I give myself the opportunity to still write a “random life post” now and then, I’ll be more likely to write even when I don’t have an exciting new *fill in the blank* to write about.

The strange thing is that the blogs that I read on a daily basis are almost nothing like my current blog. They’re blogs that give me inspiration and are well-written, but hardly ever diverge from their topic: generally-speaking, DIY, decor and home projects.

Wow.

Those really sound boring.

I assure you, they’re not! I’m in love with them. Do you know how many times I’ve quoted something I learned from one of these blogs (from a breastfeeding fact to house cleaning idea) to someone? (I generally get the blank stare in response, though. I should just start saying “My friend, Sherry, said…” rather than “I read on a blog that…”)

Here, catch a glimpse of my daily inspiration:

Okay, I know I’ve talked about them before, but they’re the first blog I ever got hooked on! They’re pretty much 95% DIY projects and decor, with the rare occasional glimpse into their home life. (Actually, they started a small version looking into their everyday life as a tab on their main page called Young House Life – I guess they just have so many interested readers. :-D)

The inspiration I find through them is to better my surroundings. I adored their first house and what they did with it – to the point that I MIGHT just be willing not to live in an “old house” (Dave likes more modern houses – like, post 1950) if I could only achieve what they did. I still enjoy reading about their projects and mishaps, although their style is swaying slightly into “Really? Could I do that?” territory.

This girl is awesome for several reasons, but the biggest: she’s real. Really real. She writes posts that will undoubtedly embarrass the crap out of her little boy one day. She’s unapologetically a poor speller, even slightly knocking the fact that she was home-schooled. She lays it all on the line, and she’s wicked funny while doing it. And, from time to time, her self esteem takes a beating and she writes a post about it. Good girl! Plus, her style is great and she’s all about decor on the cheap. Oh, and I’d say that only half of her posts are currently about house projects, since having a baby. She started off being mostly decor- and project-related, but once her son came along, it’s shifted – and I respect that.

I tell you, even if you’re not into decor or uber-awesome projects, CLICK THIS LINK! Layla Palmer is in-cre-di-ble. She’ll MAKE you like pretty things, and you’ll leave feeling like you were hugged. Truly inspirational. I’d say that she’s one of my current go-to blogs for attainable (yet HOLY CRAP ISN’T THAT GORGEOUS?!) decor ideas – and about 3/4 of her posts are about said decor. Others are about she and her husband’s hopes to adopt, family, recipes, etc. She balances it perfectly. I <3 Her and I hope that her HGTV pilot takes off, 'cuz even though I don’t have the channel anymore, she deserves the best!

Seriously, go check out the link. I’ll wait.

Okay, while I was waiting, I went to rehearsal for “Arsenic and Old Lace”, enjoyed some time with my husband, had a full night’s sleep, then worked. I couldn’t wait FOREVER, after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Who else, who else…Oh, right! My “new” inspirations…

This lady’s got style coming out the wazoo. It really wasn’t until I found The Lettered Cottage, then stumbled upon Miss Mustard Seed (via TLC) that I realized, “I don’t hate country design. In fact…I kind love it.” How does one admit to one’s mother that they finally have *similar* tastes? Wow. That’s surely a come-to-Jesus talk if ever there was one.

Anyhoo, “Miss Mustard Seed” is about a lady who finds flea market and antique store finds and gives them a new life – then is lucky enough to be able to sell these goods (as well as other items that she hand makes) at a local shoppe. Ain’t that neat? But, honestly, it’s her incredible bloggery that inspires: her clear, concise writing mixed with magazine-shoot-good images. She makes me dream about a new camera, and makes me WANT to learn how to use it the right way. She’s made me learn how to swoon over grain sacks and metal wire crates. *sigh*

Honestly, every day I find a new blog that I admire for a different reason. There are ultimately too many to list. Today, I even found one called Three Boys that not only focuses on decor, but green living, too! Heaven.

So, for those of you who lurk and those of you who comment on every single post (thanks, BTW!), lemme know a) what you enjoy about my little home on the interwebs, b) what you look forward to seeing me write about the most (I’ve once heard feedback about recipes – fun!), c) what you wish I wrote more about (may be the same as b), and d) what you’d like to *politely* critique *coughcough-if anything-coughcough*.

I appreciate you stopping back to my favorite little hobby here and hope that I can write to make folks happy while I continue to enjoy myself doing so. ๐Ÿ™‚

Blog Name Explained

Oops! I’ve realized that my blog name (which was chosen out of a plethora of ideas that were spewed onto one of my Facebook status updates) may be a little confusing to those who don’t know me. So, here’s a quick explanation.

I suppose there is a double-meaning (or maybe even triple) to “Meg, Acting Out” (or megactsout, whichever). The most literal comes from my involvement at our local community theater group, Ilion Little Theatre Club. I’ve been acting there, thanks to my sister’s earlier membership (and a desperate last-minute need for someone who could, heck, READ) for a few years now, with several shows under my belt. More recently, (a year ago) I became a board member – secretary – which takes up lots of time, but is something I strangely enjoy. In all honesty, this place is like home; a home full of strange, mostly-wonderful family members whom I care deeply for — and whodathunk I’d find a FUTURE family member there!? Yep, it’s where I met Dave, where we started as acquaintances, moved to friends, and eventually became partners. Oh, and although he doesn’t readily admit it, he’s the president. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, from the literal, we explore the abstract. I’m the youngest of four talented, unique individuals; we’re similar in some ways (particularly in twos — the older brother and older sister (1 & 3 in the line-up) are quieter and more reserved, in general; the younger brother and sister (2 & 4) share similar illnesses and allergies as well as their tempers and flair for the dramatic), but all quite different. I grew up known as the “spoiled one” — which is all relative. Compared to my siblings, yes. Compared to all of my friends, no.

I was also very vocal from a young age. For better or worse, and for all who truly know me, it’s who I am. My senior superlative was “Most Outgoing.” I’m slightly outrageous (but generally responsible and not prone to poor choices — can’t really do stupid things that’ll get you in trouble with the cops when you work in a school) and am known to say extremely random, at times slightly offensive things. I had a problem with interrupting family members at the dinner table. I’ve never liked being talked down to, and tend to speak up about it (can you picture a cute 4-year-old speaking up? Yeah, I’d want to give me a spanking, too). But, I was raised with enough sense to respect my elders (with exception to my mom back in the day, and my stepdad during my teen years, poor parents!) and never spoke rudely to teachers, grandparents or, well, any other adults. Regardless, my closest friends and family know that “Meg, Acting Out” just describes the person they’ve always known. I’m grateful that they’ve remained loving, and that I’ve been lucky enough to find a guy to put up with this quirk.

I suppose a third meaning could come just from living life, since that’s essentially what this blog is about. I could have just decided to write a blog about living green — but I’m not an expert. Or, I could have written about students — which I’ll, on occasion, do, but would rather not air their business too publicly. I could also have written a design blog — but, again, I’m no expert and would rather just share our renovations as they come. I could’ve written a wedding blog — but I’m not a hugely wedding-obsessed bride (although I’ll be writing more about the planning as we go along; besides, I’ve got a blog on our wedding web site). So, one reason the name appealed to me was in the fact that it somehow describes EVERYTHING I wanted to write about — which is, pretty much, EVERYTHING. ๐Ÿ™‚

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts….”

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone! I’m a lucky duck; got an extra day off. Hope it’s as gorgeous where you are as it is here.