Making Over Third Grade!: How I Spent This Saturday...and...A Great Deal of Time On Sunday...
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

How I Spent This Saturday...and...A Great Deal of Time On Sunday...

We had a busy (but very nice though bittersweet) Thanksgiving holiday. It was A LOT of work (I cooked 2 full Thanksgiving meals in two days, hosted Robert's family, and cleaning until nearly 1:30 AM. So, we ended up doing nothing but sleeping and watching TV on Friday. It wasn't all laziness though, I managed to do quite a bit of online Christmas shopping done (I mean, I did do SOME Christmas shopping but it was more of a buy one for them, two for me deal). Since Robert wasn't feeling well there was no way that the Christmas stuff was going to be brought into the house for me to decorate so I needed something to occupy my time. Fixing Improving my blog seemed like the PERFECT way to spend a few hours.

When I started this blog over the summer I relied on Google to help set up the blog and I was happy with it until I saw so many EXTREMELY cute blogs and I wanted mine to be that cute too! I didn't want to pay someone for a blog template (though I really considered it) I just couldn't justify it when I have purchased SO MANY different clip art sets over the years that I knew if I had the directions and time I would be able to do some cute things to improve my blog. That is when I found Megan over at:

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

Megan's Blog Baby Blog (click on image above for the link) blog posts were helpful but also a bit overwhelming this summer when I had so much going on. Thanks to her though I WAS ABLE TO create a header and blog button in Google Drawing (yeah, somehow I totally missed her direction to Pixlr). I liked my header and I was very proud of myself for being able to create a blog header on my own but it wasn't as cute as I wanted it to be. I knew at some point I would have to go back and try to create something...MORE. I loved my button and had Tea and Coffee make magnets with my button on them (at just $4 for 5 magnets I think that is a STEAL). Still, my Pinterest and other buttons were not cute and I couldn't stand that! I knew that something had to be done so today seemed like the perfect time to address this inadequacy.

I honestly thought that in a few short hours I would have a wonderfully beautiful new blog and I would still have time to correct a few things - maybe even work on lesson plans shop a little. I knew that I needed to head back over to Megan's site for the Blog Baby Blog tutorials. Well I should have known better! I love cute and I have difficultly with HTML so I should have considered how long this would possibly take me. 

First, I went to Megan's tutorial for how to use HTML to create new blog buttons. I would have been done in no time at all had I been able to use the one of MANY sets of FREE (yes, FREE) and CUTE buttons that she has shared with her readers. I of course, wasn't able to grab the links for the images and after trying for over an hour (yes, I am tenacious like that *wink*). I gave up in frustration. Then I thought maybe I was having difficulty because I was working on my district issued Mac. I turned on my Windows computer (which is on the way out - what to do though - if I change to Mac I lose most of my DJ Inkers clip art which I still like to use at times). I decided the Windows machine was looking like it would never boot up so I went back to the Mac and decided to take a different tact to getting those damn frustrating buttons done. 

I still didn't get to the Pixlr post (which in hindsight would have been WAY MORE HELPFUL at this point) so I opened Google Drawing and inserted ThistleGirl Design clip art (from the Hollywood Kids set). (I ADORE Ashley's work and have way too many TONS of her sets!)
Making Over Third Grade's favorite graphics ThisleGirl Designs

I then set off to create my own buttons to link to my blog. I mean, how hard could it be really? Well, I shouldn't even have thought that question let alone written it! It took me HOURS to get these done because 
  1. I am a perfectionist
  2. I needed the buttons to be the same size (see #1)
  3. I tried to use the HTML from a Google Drive folder but that didn't work
  4. I FINALLY decided to go back to Megan's site and watch the video for those who didn't use her buttons and found that I needed to go to Photobucket 
Once I found out about Photobucket (I mean really, how did I NOT know about this site and Pixlr?) getting the HTML and code finished didn't take too long. Of course, it took me over an hour to decide where I wanted the buttons to go and to try to get them above the header (I couldn't figure out how to do that) before I just put them at the top of the sidebar where Megan had suggested to begin with (yeah, I don't ALWAYS follow directions). 

I then went back to her tutorials and learned how to make a signature block that I didn't have to remember EVERY TIME I post something. I mean, really! Nearly every post in this blog had to be done more than once due to my forgetting the signature block. Naturally, this wasn't an easy thing for me either as I HAD to have my purple Hollywood girl from ThistleGirl Designs. I learned A LOT from my many trials and errors. But there is the image and my signature below. Oh, and did I mention that Pixlr accesses all of the fonts on your computer so rather than the few cute Google fonts that I like I was able to spend an infinite amount of time selecting the perfect font for each thing I did today. That is a dangerous tool for me! 

So, I took the information about the signature block and applied that to the post divider as well. Well, as you can see (at the end of the post) the divider I wanted to make with one of my favorite quotes is much to big for the purposes of a divider; it is cute though so I added it here just to show you how cute it is. The real divider is below my signature block. 

Okay, so once the blog buttons and dividers were completed it was time to create a new header! Now, you must remember I LOVED my old header but hated the background for it as well as the fact that the image was off center. There is only so much you can do in Google Draw when you have no idea what you are doing. Once again, I hopped over to Megan's blog tutorials and with her guidance and the use of Pixlr I was able to create my new header. What do you think about it? I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! So of course the first header was too small and I had the same issue I had with the first one I was going to do need about half an inch more space in order to make this work. Of course the second header went much faster due to the fact that 
  1. I knew what I was doing 
  2. I knew what I wanted the header to look like
Naturally, the first header took hours some time to complete as I wasn't sure which digital papers I wanted to use and which font I liked the best. The font issue was a HUGE deal as I wanted to try to match the Google fonts I had originally used but then again, I also liked SO MANY of the fonts I have from DJ Inkers and Hello Fonts. What a hard decision! Robert ended up having the last word since I couldn't narrow it down beyond my top 7 choices. He narrowed it down to the one you see above and a chalk font that I really liked as well. Of course, now that I know what I am doing I may have found a new addiction hobby as I change my blog and make it even more my own.

Of course, if I was redoing the header as much as I loved my blog button, I thought I should redo it as well so that it reflected the changes I have made. So here are the two new blog button options I am considering.

Making Over Third Grade blog button option

Making Over Third Grade alt blog buttion option

While I like the first one because it matches the new header. I do not think it looks quite right.  The second one looks like the button I have now only it has the new fonts to match the new header. I think for now I will go with the second one and maybe return to the current button. I am just not sure. Too much over thinking of all of this.

Okay, did you know that you have to claim your blog on Bloglovin'? I totally didn't! I thought that you just had to add your blog in the search and add section. Nope! You have to go to your account and claim it as yours! I know that now thanks to Megan too! What would I do without that woman!?! I don't even want to think about about it. I JUST LOVE HER BLOG!!!!

Why do you want to claim your blog on Bloglovin'? Well for one it will post new updates for you to their site, Twitter, and FB if you enable it. I am so happy that I can now skip so many steps each time I write a new post!

I go back to school on Monday...will have to go in tomorrow to get ready for the week because I left it without being ready for the week...after minimum days and parent conferences I left quickly to watch Mockingjay. Not a decision I regret! I will have to remind myself of that of course tomorrow when I am in my room painting a table with whiteboard paint and as I am getting ready for the coming week.

Making Over Third Grade with Ms. Ryan's favorite quote
Making Over Third Grade with Ms. Ryan signature block
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
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