Oh yes, the glasses are back on... (see Saturday's post!)
I decided to try using disqus to manage my blog comments. Thought I'd share what I know so far:
Why you might want to try disqus:
It will turn your blog comments into a real conversation! You can reply directly to each comment, and the reply shows up embedded right below the original comment. So much more natural than replying 10 comments later with @whatevername!
Replying to comments is super easy. You have three choices:
hit the reply button on the actual comment
use the disqus dashboard (good because you can see all of the comments in one place)
reply directly by email (you get an email notification for each comment, and when you reply to the email, it places your reply below the original comment on your blog! Isn't that awesome???)
it also works for commenters... they get an email when someone replies to their comment... if they reply to the email, it inserts it into the comment section under the reply! Super cool.
You can link it with facebook, twitter, etc... commenters can log in from any of these accounts, or openID (which blogger uses), or simply with their name and email.
What you need to know to get started:
Setting up disqus was super easy! Impressively easy, actually.
You just register on the disqus site, and the rest of the set-up is like adding a widget to your blogger layout... disqus does most of the work automatically
You do need to import your comments:
Go to the Admin section (in the blue bar at the top of the screen)
Go to the Tools tab
Click Import/Export. Note: it took some time for all of the comments to import, but don't worry, it worked just fine! (I've read that it can take a couple days if you have loads of comments!!!)
For some reason... when I imported the comments, my email inbox filled up with a notification for every single comment I've ever gotten... ???????
Quirky things that I'm not sure about yet:
There is a big delay from the time someone comments to when I get notification in my gmail inbox.
There is an even bigger delay (like 12 hours or more) to successfuly reply to comments through email.
Commenters are supposed to receive emails when they get a reply to their comment (which would totally facilitate the 'conversation')... so far, I don't think this is working... but let me know if you did get an email when I replied to your comment.
Comments received via iPhone are not showing up. I know they are there, because they are in my blogger comment moderation page. But disqus isn't showing them. hmmmm... I emailed support and I expect to hear back soon.
I'm laughing at myself right now for deciding that I'm qualified enough to offer 'tips' on blogging... but I do love nerdy tech stuff, so here we go!
I put on my glasses so that I'd look smarter! (hahaha!)
The topic for today is Comments. I love the little conversations that result from comments on posts. It's one of the best parts of blogging. It's how you get to 'know' other bloggers, and it's super fun to have little conversations through the comments section. However... there seem to be two schools of thought on how to do it:
Reply by commenting back on your own post. This works well if the commenter checks back to see if you replied or 'subscribes to comments.'
Reply by email. I have my blogger account set to send comments to my gmail account, and I always thought that if I replied to the email, the commenter would receive my reply. Apparently, that isn't always true!!! Thanks to Anna's post today at Lona de Anna, for pointing this out! It only works if the commenter 'shows' their email address on their own blogger account!
A Question For You: How do you prefer to get replies to your comments? A comment on the same post, or a direct email??? Please leave a comment to let me know!!!
Here are the tips:
To find out whether the commenter will receive your email reply, check to see what their reply email address is (in gmail you can hover over their name)... if it says 'firstname.lastname@example.org' your reply is going nowhere!!!
If you want to be able to engage in comment conversations through email, simply follow these steps to allow other bloggers to reply to you directly:
Go to your Blogger dashboard
Click on 'Edit Profile'... it's on the top left corner under your photo
Check the 'Show my email address' box under the Privacy settings
Note: I use blogger, so I'm not sure how wordpress or any of the other platforms handle this issue!
Another Note: I've noticed that quite a few of the bloggers that I follow have started using disqus to handle comments. I'm going to look into it right now, and I'll share what I find on my next Blogging Quick Tip post!
So... I've been a little slack with the blog posts this week. My excuse is that my home has been completely taken over by boys. It's the week-long February break from school, so I'm looking after my own 2 boys, my sisters 2 boys, and my friend's baby boy! I'm outnumbered. It was kind of ironically fitting when CSN Stores offered up a giveaway featuring outdoor playsets today!
My first thought was, "OMG... if ONLY I could send the boys outside right now!!!" Is anyone else feeling this way right now? The weather networks says that it 'feels like -30 degrees' outside. ICK. I am so ready for spring. This is how happy I'm going to be when the snow finally melts:
Jumpking Trampoline $349.99
So here's the deal. CSN stores will give the winner a $40 Gift Certificate to use on an item of the winner's choice. CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be outdoor playsets, fabulous home decor items, or even cute cookware! Here are some warm-weather items that caught my eye today:
How about this super cute sandbox? Hours of fun for the little ones... and it comes with a cover so that the neighbor's cat can't crap in the sand. (Don't even get me started on that situation...)
Step2 Crabbie Sandbox $69.99
I know that my boys are super excited to get their bikes out. I would highly recommend a training bike like this one. My boys both have something similar, and it is AMAZING how quickly they find their balance... no need for training wheels!
Smart Gear Classic Wooden Training Bike $74.99
But then again, maybe you have a little girl in your house, and you want her to have a more stylish looking ride. You should totally go for this one:
Schwinn Roadster Tricycle in Pink $69.99
To enter the giveaway, sipmply be a follower and leave a comment on this post
Tweet or facebook it for an extra entry (and leave an additional comment)
I'll make the draw on Monday Feb. 28th (to celebrate the fact that the kids are back in school... hahaha... just kidding of course...)
Just type "brass" into the search box! It's amazing what you can find for a steal! That's how I found my awesome brass coffee tables. (See this post if you missed them... they're pure fabulousness.)
Here's my latest find:
This super cool pendant light was only $5!!! Craziness! I like that it has a bit of an industrial look, and you can't tell in the picture, but it's big (like 14" diameter) so it will make quite an impact. I just don't know where I'm going to put it. But at $5 it HAD to be mine!
I think the lady I bought it from thought I was a bit of a freak when I gave her my "brass is making a comeback" speech... (or maybe it was because I paid her in change... seriously... I paid her in coins that had collected in the cup-holder of my vehicle!)
Make sure you enter the HomeSave giveaway! I'll make the draw later today... you don't want to miss out on your chance at a $65 credit... if it was mine I'd put it towards this:
Also... with all the buzz about fashion week around blogland this week, I've been taking a serious look at my own wardrobe. It's BAD. I think I've probably mentioned that my kids have this thing for only wanting to wear 'soft' clothes??? I realized the other day that, ironically, you would think I have the same rule! I've been living in yoga pants, my favorite lulu lemon sweat pants, and if I want to get dressed up, I break out the jeggings! OMG.
I think I need to do a clean sweep and start fresh. So I'm doing some research first (there's still a trace of nerdy engineer in me.) Went to the library and checked out every fashion book that I could find. Here's what's on my bookshelf for the weekend:
If you have a favorite fashion book that I should check out, leave me a comment. Or how about a fashion blog that I need to know about??? Fill me in... PLEASE!!! I need all the help I can get!
In case you haven't heard of HomeSav, it is a design-savvy, members-only online, home decor provider that gives style-hungry bargain hunters insider access to irresistable discounts on some of the hottest brands! All products are between 30 - 70% off!!
Here is a sampling of HomeSav items that caught my eye:
First, my favorite item (just what I need if Jeff and I decide to take off for a getaway weekend in March!) The gorgeous Python Runway bag by Toss Designs:
Next, on to the home decor stuff... I can picture a pair of the Meena table lamps by Uttermost in my living room:
And the lamps would be nicely complimented by a Kevin O'Brien Paisley Peacock Pillow:
Last but not least, I think that the Braden Pendant light could work well in my foyer:
If you would like to enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post! Easy! (It would also be great if you were a follower... hint hint!!!)
I'll make the draw for the $65 HomeSav credit on Friday, Feb. 18th! Good Luck!
Red is tricky. It's my favorite color... to wear. Also love red lipstick. But I often find that red in interiors ends up looking either too '90's (picture the one deep red feature wall) or too 'Moulin Rouge' (you know what I mean.)
So I decided to round up a few interiors where I LOVE the pop of red. Red looks great when it is paired up with cool blue or bright white. Add some fun pattern to the mix, and you're set.
I have been obsessing over family room inspiration this week. I have to figure out how I'm going to finish off that room.
Wouldn't you know, last night I watched the Mad Men episode where Betty hires an interior decorator to re-do her living room. Perfect timing! (OK... I realize I am way behind on Mad Men. I only started watching it this winter when I signed up for Netflix. But I LOVE IT! I totally obsess over it: the fashion, the decor, the styling. Obvious.) I was super pumped about Don & Betty's living room transformation:
Of course I love what they did:
The clean boxy lines of the orange sofa
Those two AMAZING chairs with the geometric pattern (that almost looks like a cane pattern but not quite)
The warm gold tone of the glass coffee table.
That cute table lamp
The brass pieces on the mantel (too bad they're birds... (too scary))
The rich blue/grey wall color (similar to what I already have in my family room... maybe I should keep it?)
The display shelf with the back painted orange
Those FABULOUS cream drapes with the orange trim and the curvy pelmet boxes...
In my books, this room was pretty close to perfection. (Maybe a tiny bit too matchy with all of the orange details? But still FABULOUS inspiration!)
BUT THEN.... Betty goes and RUINS it with this monstrosity:
Seriously, sometimes I just can't stand that woman. She's so frustrating.
Want to see the first room that got me really excited about interior design???
This family room is by Toronto designer Holly Dyment. Her super colorful home was featured in Canadian House & Home in 2003... and I still have that magazine feature in my inspiration file! Check out all of that pink!!! I also love the soft citron color of the walls, and the colored glass divider!
Our family room reno has been a bit of a saga... I'm going to start at the start:
The picture from the brochure advertising the house. (Hence the poor quality and the furniture that is not ours.) Take note of the very bossy red brick color, the tiny fireplace, and the awkward oak built-ins on the sides.
We really 'made the room our own' by gluing a strip of soft rubber stuff to the hearth to keep the kids from cracking their heads open on it. We also filled in the fireplace opening with styrofoam insulation because it was so freakin drafty. Then to top it off wee threw in a whack-load of brightly colored kid toys with absolutely nowhere to store them other than on the floor. Awesome.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, every proper family room needs a slide, right??? And check out the area rug... it's the one that became my painted chevron rug!
We finally moved the kid toys downstairs, and I tried a couple of minor updates to the room. I painted the walls charcoal grey and moved the tv above the fireplace. That tv is now in our basement because the screen got hit with a flying megablock, and now has a permanent pattern of rainbow colored lines through the picture.
Still not happy with the result, we decided to tear down the brick wall and start fresh. Great idea! The low point of the process was when the contractor that we hired hit us with a crazy lien. (Full story here.) After that, my Dad agreed to finish the job for us! (AWESOME!!!) Here's where we are at now:
The new fireplace is in, the wall is repaired, and my Dad has pretty much finished the built-in cabinets for each side of the fireplace. I am going to start priming them today! Can't wait to see them in place!