The Writing Maladies of a Sensitive Blogger

For the most of this past summer I was MIA on WordPress. Believe it or not, the sentence “this is me showing up at the page” was all I could come up with. I would sit in front of this blank screen with the blinking cursor silently mocking my failure at stringing along a few decent paragraphs.

Eventually, I couldn’t bear to see it flashing before me, closed the tab and avoided WordPress altogether for the better part of the summer.

Why am I telling you this? Maybe I’m just looking for sympathy. Or maybe I just want to know that someone else out there can relate.

I started this blog in 2009. Three years ago, I was a very different person. Well actually, I was the same person but I saw things very differently. I started my blog for the same reason many of us start blogs. The feeling of an escape from life, or perhaps the need to have something new that is utterly and completely in your control. In my case, it was both.

The blank page was my best friend. I could fill it up with whatever I wanted. Life was a mess, but the page was clean.

I didn’t really care who read the blog. I loved to write. Writing made me happy, and my happiness had nothing to do with how many views my posts received. I learnt that I was my biggest critic. If I liked my post, then it didn’t matter who else did. If I hated it, all the positive feedback in the world wouldn’t be able to convince me I did a good job. 

And then something happened. Call it time or call it Freshly Pressed. Let’s call it Freshly Pressed. 

Freshly Pressed was probably the best and the worst thing that ever happened to this blog and its writer. Freshly Pressed gives you about 48 hours of fame and instant gratification, a window in which the world loves you. Followers and likes and comments rain down like confetti on the celebration of your blog’s success.

If you are a blogger who was Freshly Pressed, you may be able to attest that things change after that. For me, it stopped being about the love of writing and expression. It was now all about the audience. This is not to say Freshly Pressed was a bad thing. I ran into so many of you because of it, and for that I am grateful. 

But the pressure that I put on myself was definitely on. I placed my creative self-esteem in the hands of audience feedback. And solely positive feedback. 

If I didn’t think someone would like what I was going to write about, the post either landed in my saved documents or in the trash. As a result, hundreds of posts were aborted out of fear of disinterest, fear of negative feedback or maybe the worst- fear of complete indifference.

I seemed to have forgotten why I started this blog. The main reason this blog even exists is so that I don’t take myself too seriously. Ironically, I’ve never taken myself more seriously. For example, take this very post. It took me two weeks to write it and an hour and a half to come up with a title.

Creative process of normal people:

…whatever your definition of normal is

My version of the creative process:

I make this look more complicated than it really is

Of course, I cannot blame my blogging blocks entirely on Freshly Pressed. A lot of it was also personal issues that added to the mix. 

While I may have been absent from blogging, I wasn’t completely absent from reading some of the blogs I`m subscribed to. Mainly, you guys. This is where I talk about why Freshly Pressed was the best thing that ever happened to me. Take this any way you want to (actually, please take this in a good way) but I envied you all.

You all are fearless writers. (Yes, you!)  Whether it’s a post about finding roses in the garbage disposal, or a post about getting mad when people call you by stupid nicknames, or a post about the joy of getting voting stickers, you guys taught me that I shouldn’t care too much about other people’s opinions. Even if I do, it shouldn’t stop me from writing. You all have the metaphorical pair of blogger balls that I really need to start growing.

In many ways, they both feel the same.

Eventually of course, my summer pity party ended and I started writing again. Even if it was a post about talking to my blender, it had to be written if only to break the cycle of fear of not being liked. This post has no fancy play on words, no clever puns (except the blogger balls one, which is really a metaphor and not that funny). It`s the first time in a long time that I’m not trying desperately hard to impress everyone.

If you have gotten to the end of this post- Thank You. I may have spent a whole post talking about how you are indirectly the cause of my writing anxiety, but you are also directly the cause of infinite encouragement and inspiration. I could write another 3000 words about how awesome you guys are but I won`t because I’d like to stop being such a sap and get back to my usual no-nonsense sarcastic self. 

To all of you awesome WordPress bloggers, seeing you guys regularly on my reader has inspired me by kicking my ass into gear. Now I’d like to know your secrets: Why did you start blogging? How do you get past social acceptance fears? Does blogging ever feel like a job?

The Mystery of the Disappearing Blogger

General Disclaimer: This post contains sarcasm and a spontaneous combustion-inducing picture of Ian Sommerhalder. You know, just the usual.

It’s me again! It really is. You’re not seeing things.

Yes, I did check the date on the last time this blog was updated. I’m well aware it reads May 31st. I’m also aware that’s two whole months. I’ve had many people ask me what kind of cave I’d crawled into? Perhaps I was dead? Or worse still, broke both my arms in a freak summer accident..like..I don’t know…think of a terrible accident where you lose both arms that one could only joke about in really bad taste.

Nonetheless I’m here now. You can take the girl out of the blogging, but you can’t take the attention-seeking tendencies fueled by blogging out of the girl…not for too long anyway. Hence, I am back.

Really, you guys didn’t miss much in the past two months. Its been a pretty dead summer so far. But now that I have quelled most of your fears about me not being dead or armless, you may be wondering what the hell I’ve been doing to keep me away from blogging for so long. Well, apart from me loving the fact that the weather’s been hotter than two rabbits making babies in a sock, here’s an update of my MIA misadventures:

1) Working on my summer tan:

You may think that a girl like me needs a tan like Dolly Parton needs a boob job, but I beg to differ. Since one of the only joys of short Canadian summers is soaking up those deliciously warm cancer rays, I refuse to be discriminated against because of my skin color. Here’s a first hand look at my new before and after sun-kissed countenance:

Before and After. Am I the only one that thinks this is NOT the exact same photo?

 2) Watching entire seasons of The Vampire Diaries:

Don’t look at me like that, you judgers! I am but a weak human being. Yes, much of the time I could have spent blogging was spent rather in mindless teeny bopper vampire obsessions. Would it sound any better if I told you that what I really have  is actually an Ian Sommerhalder obsession?

Here ladies, is this convincing at all?

Photo credit: the internet

Fellas, there’s a new Ryan Gosling in town. You may groan if you wish but stay away from that “Unfollow” button.

3) Getting hit on by a 12-year-old at my bus stop:

You all know by now that between my numerous posts on friend zones, my hot neighbour and colossal cockblocks of the Universe, my love life has been about as steamy as an empty can of cat food. Not anymore, dolls!

Not. Any. More.

For the past month or so, I have had a questionable suitor at my bus stop. It all started when this little boy asked me if I had change for a five for bus fare. I offered to just pay for his bus fare since I felt sorry for this child. The child flatly refused. He wanted to pay for his ticket fair and square. I managed to scrounge up some change.

The next day we met again. He stared at me for about 5 minutes after which he smiled and asked me if I were in grade 9 or 10. It was cute.

The following day he struck up a conversation about where he lives, where he grew up and how public transit evolved since he was young(er) and how he didn’t want me to take offense that he didn’t accept my money for bus fare. A real man never asks a woman to pay for his bus fare.

After that he asked me if he could borrow my cell phone to call his mother.

Come to think of it maybe I’m getting ahead of myself on this one.

4) Attending Coldplay concerts:

Speaking of being eternally single, this is probably one of the reasons why. All you haters can hate, but I’ll proudly admit that Coldplay has always been one of my favorite bands. Seeing them live for the first time was the icing on the cake of life. I guess I could also admit that I felt the same way when I saw John Mayer in concert for the first time, but do I really want to be alone with 6 cats and a plant named Penny, listening to “Your Body is a Wonderland” for the rest of my life? Hmmm.

5) Reading 50 Shades of Grey:

This time your judgement is well deserved. That being said, I did read these books. And my pompous, self-righteous, grammar loving self wanted to sit with a red marker and circle every second line of this horribly written book because it was seriously distracting me from all of the “kinky f*ckery” (as Mr. Christian Grey so eloquently put it.)

And what’s Fifty Shades without kinky f*ckery? (that was a rhetorical question)

….not to mention trying to have the lowest self-esteem issues possible and using terrible syntax.

6) General tomfoolery:

General tomfoolery includes but not limited to: drinking adult beverages, berating people who complained about the heat, tanning (refer to #1), shopping, procrastinating from blogging, sitting on patios, staring out my window for hours with a pair of binoculars patiently waiting for my hot neighbour to come out running shirtless and of course, getting grief for not blogging.

So there you have it. Now you’re up to date with what I haven’t talked about in two months. But clearly, you haven’t missed much. What I’m really curious about is what have all of you guys been up to in the last little while? What exciting things have happened to you?? Or am I the only one who’s had exciting things happen (as elaborately demonstrated above)

Look what you have done, WordPress!

No, this is not another shameless bid to get WordPress’ attention to get myself Freshly Pressed. Although, who am I to protest and complain if they do after reading this?

By now, if you are a WordPress blogger you would have realised that there truly isn’t a better platform from which to springboard your innermost thoughts and fantasies to a whole bevy of strangers around the world. And even then, everyday I discovered new nifty little tricks and features that WordPress keeps adding to enhance my TMI sharing experiences with even more strangers I ever imagined possible.

But I’m not going to waste an entire blog post praising the WordPress features that you already have come to know and love. Today, I’m going to show you how WordPress is awesome in a totally different way: Connecting People in real life.

It came to be realised that there were quite a few of us 20-something Torontonian bloggers, most of whom were somehow connected and subscribed to each other. From this fact was born our very ambitious mini-blogger convention. Sadly our first convention only consisted of three people (hence mini). You may or may not recognise these amazing bloggers:

Breezyk from The Camel Life

Janice (Cafe23) from Your Daily Dose

and of course, yours truly, Karen from The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans-wearing Toronto girl

It all began like any potentially good online dating story (or the stuff  good reality TV is made of). I started reading Breezyk’s The Camel Life sometime last year when I came across her post about going to some Wine and Food convention. I was effectively hooked after reading her ‘About Me’ section. I have no idea what she saw in me at the time but we decided to meet up for a glass of Pinot. I was never one to turn down a fellow wino.

Three glasses of classy juice later, we knew we would be BFFs. Well I was thinking we would be. She was probably thinking about how she was going to be hungover at work the next day. Regardless, we knew that the only thing that would make this even better the next time was if we actually had more awesome bloggers in the mix.

Janice from ‘Your Daily Dose’ was another blogger who I started following fairly recently. I think the first post I read of hers was about the Kingston Penitentiary. This was really strange because after reading her ‘About Me’ section, the first thought that came to mind was “what the heck is a sweet girl like her doing in King Pen?!” Then I found out she was a Criminology major after which I promptly hit the Follow button. Anyone who is drop dead beautiful, likes week-long hikes and camping in the wilderness, has the voice of an angel and writes posts about King Pen definitely is a blogger to be reckoned with.

You mix all of us together and you get an evening of wine, Italian food goodtimes! Here’s some photographic evidence that this actually happened.

It’s always wonderful when we as bloggers follow each other and support each other’s blogs with follows, comments and likes. But there’s really nothing like actually getting to meet these wonderful people in person and laughing and sharing stories. Breezyk and Janice, you guys rock! Here’s to many more blogging years and mini conventions in the future!

And more importantly, if any of you bloggers are Toronto-based or close to the GTA, drop us a line! This could only get better from here.

 Have you ever met a fellow blogger who is a complete stranger in real life? How did it turn out?

Friday Chronicles: My French is better than your French

You asked for it and here it is! The second installment of the Friday Chronicles back by popular demand.

If you’re reading this right now, then you’re probably one of the emotionally strong few who made it through the work week barely breathing but relatively unscathed. As your reward for achieving this feat, I have spent my time searching far and wide for some end-of-the-week LOLZ for you.

So chill out on the couch, you tired warrior. Grab a cannoli, a glass (or tank) of your favorite crunk juice and give yourself a good thump on the back for making it through yet another soul-killing work week.

Let’s begin this newscast with some local happenings:

1) Toronto blogger receives the greatest WordPress accolade:

That’s right, doll faces! It’s been an exciting week for yours truly. After years of crying myself to sleep, my post “Ten Things I learnt from being a WordPress Blogger” FINALLY got Freshly Pressed on Tuesday March 13th, 2012.

Contrary to what many think, this is actually not the first time I got Freshly Pressed. My post “Karen’s Guide to Maximising Gym Workouts” was what started it all, but that was so many forevers ago that it doesn’t seem like it even happened. At the risk of sounding like a Hollywood cliché, I’m going to say that I dedicate this to all of my readers. Because let’s face it, without you guys egging me on, I would have stopped blogging long ago.

Also, you may or may not have noticed that I changed my blog name from ‘The Skinny Jeans and Starbucks Chronicles” to “The Chronicles of a Skinny Jeans Wearing Toronto girl”. I figure it was time to retire the free Starbucks endorsements. The blog website remains the same though, so this should cause no confusion with post updates if you are subscribed.

Anyway, let’s move on to some “real” news.

2) Ottawa resident deems unavailability of decent parking a human rights violation:

Patricia Howson became the patron saint of Mazda 5s when she recently lamented over the lack of parking space for her automobile. Some tears were allegedly shed before placing her tribulations over the other piles of better known human rights cases like public executions in certain Middle Eastern countries, the rape and sodomization of 8-year olds in certain African countries and obnoxiously long grocery lines in certain first world countries. Since it doesn’t look like any shit was given by The National Post, who ran this story, I wouldn’t put it past this car-wreck to call Jason Russell(the Kony 2012 fire-starter) to make her a 30 minute video.

Full story here.

Speaking of not giving a shit…

3) Indian woman leaves her marriage home in protest of not having a toilet:

Anita Narre and Patricia Howson (the Mazda 5 crazy) should clearly be on TLC’s Life Swap…if there is such a freak reality show. Mrs. Narre’s wedded bliss went down the toilet when she found that part of her wedding present was a bush in the backyard with her name on it. In an act of supreme ballsiness for a newly married Indian woman from a remote village, Narre left her marriage home and her idiotic husband and vowed not to return until she had a decent place to dump her crap. Mrs. Narre was later rewarded with an in-home toilet and Rs.$10,000 ($200.00 US) for her bravery.

Full story here.

Speaking of idiotic husbands… 

4) Bachelor Ben Flajnik picks his bride after weeks of brain cell-murdering drama:

Ben: I love you hair. Courtney: No Ben, I love YOUR hair. (www.people.com)

Millions of viewers across North America watched in horror as ABC’s Bachelor Ben Flajnik went down on one knee and proposed to batshit crazy model Courtney Roberston. Ben Flajnik, whose last name sounds like something that comes out of your nose when you have a bad infection, is a wine-maker from Sonoma, California. Flajnik was under fire throughout the season for his bad haircut and bad choices when he constantly favored Robertson who has been touted as “America’s Most Hated Woman” in the history of women, America and hatred. For those of you that actually watched this train-wreck season, am I the only one who thinks Ben is a genius? The guy garnered MAJOR publicity for his wine company AND landed a hot model in the bargain. If you were tuning in for the last several weeks to see Ben find true love then you might have saved yourself a lot of time and grief by just watching a heart-warming Disney movie instead.

Speaking of heart-warming…

5) Breakthrough Cancer pill offers hope to skin cancer sufferers:

All that running, baking, striping and other questionable forms of fund-raising for cancer have finally payed off. Researchers in England have come up with a skin cancer pill that “doubles the length of time that patients with skin cancer can survive”. This is some very welcome news seeing that as many as 11,000 people are diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in England each year. This is NOT to say however, that all you cancerless beach bum orangey oompa loompas should be throwing away your fake tan spray bottles (I’m lookin at you Jersey Shore) and running for the tanning beds. Cancer is a heartless bitch. And your only weapons are a prayer and sunscreen.  

Full Story on the cancer pill here.

And finally, speaking of heartless bitches…

6) Halle Berry confirms reports that she is indeed engaged to Olivier Martinez:

Halle Berry, who has been painted in the past to be almost as crazy as Courtney Robertson, sat on Oprah’s famous couch years ago and vowed to America that she would never marry. Until sexy Frenchman Olivier Martinez came along. The Berry however, is not new to the charms of French men as she was famously linked with Montreal-born drop dead beautiful Gabriel Aubrey, and even created an unusually divine looking spawn with him. But let’s face it. The real focus here is not Halle’s impending nuptials, rather the age-old debate that has plagued the universe for decades:

Which French is better?

 

                           

Canada`s young, irresistible Québécois French vs. France`s old school sexy nicotine-beaten French.

I leave you the pleasure and torture of deciding this one

Actually, by the time you read this I will be on my way to Montreal, Quebec for a little solo getaway weekend. While there, I fully intend on testing out some of that irresistible Québécois French candy. I can say with about 60% surety that you can expect a post on my travels and encounters with sexy French bakers trying to sell me their baguette. I say 60% just to account for my pathological laziness.

Thank you all for reading this week’s edition of the Friday Chronicles. Stay tuned next Friday for another weekly roundup. Until then, have a wonderful weekend  and remember…when shit happens, be grateful you have a toilet.

Can I now call my blog “Award-Winning”?

So I won a few blogging awards! Woohoo! :D

I have no idea who Liebster is...but I'll take it.

 To the bloggers who actually nominated me for these awards, don’t roll your eyes at me. I know this is long overdue.
 
I won these a while back and since they came with no cash reward or grocery store coupons, I forgot all about them and the rules of the exclusive blog awards.
 

This is set to be my new MSN screen name. Because only versatile bloggers still use MSN.

 

I wish I had an awesome blog-reader award that I could give away!

But here they are now. The rules of these awards (from what I understand) are as follows:
 
1) Tell everyone 1000 things about myself. Well actually, one of the awards say I have to tell you nothing, another says 7 things and the ABC one says I have to do a whole alphabet of things about myself.
 
Now, I’m not sure how many more things you need to be reading about me. I think I burden you with enough of useless life details in my blog so I’m going to go with an average of all these awards: three. Be prepared to have your life changed. Or at least have 10 minutes of it wasted.
 
2) Give a shout out to the person who nominated you for the award and nominate 5 other blogs.  Let me give you 5 blogs with a lot of shouting out and call it a day.
 
3) Post the award on your profile and on the blog nominee’s profile. Easy peasy.
 
Alright, let’s this started then…
 
Three things about Karen:
 
1) I love going on solo getaways:
Last February: “Hey guys! I’m going away for the long weekend!”
                               “So exciting! Where are you going? And with whom?”
                               ” I’m going to Montreal!!…by myself.”
                               “Oh! Wait…what?”
 
2) I am lazy, which would explain why it took me months to write this post. In fact, the only reason I didn’t say I am VERY lazy is because I was too lazy to type VERY. (But apparently not lazy enough to make this point)
 
3) I hate oatmeal. It tastes like something you’d eat if you were in prison.
 
Now, for the good part! Here are five blogs that are all worthy of being loved and read:
 
The Camel Life: My Pinot-loving, Starbucks-drinking Toronto homegirl AND awesome real-life friend AND two-time Freshly Pressed WordPress extraordinaire Breezyk will have you laughing and crying (with laughter) at her observations of everyday life. She takes the most mundane things and brings out the humor which we all see and yet do not take notice of enough. Her writing style is witty, engaging, and very smart.  Which is why you need to go to her blog right now and subscribe! GO!
 
The Dissemination of Thought: Lyndon, who calls himself TDot first got my attention for his excellent piece on his single guy kitchen adventures which got Freshly Pressed. Then I discovered that he called himself TDot, which got me all excited to think that there was yet another exceptional Toronto blogger. Alas! he isn’t from Toronto. But the fact still remains that this man is a brilliant writer and some of his posts actually make me laugh out loud. Be it telling you how to arrange eggs in your fridge or about disastrous dates, TDoT never fails to entertain.
 
Your Daily Dose: Cafe23 or Janice is a sweetheart and her posts always make me smile. You can tell from her writing that she loves engaging her readers in conversation and is just a kind and positive person. And she’s Canadian!! And she sometimes has some awesome comics and illustrations! What’s not to love!! Check her out people! 
 
One Life: Jamie’s blog is one of those reads that are just heart-warming and positive. He has some pretty funny takes on life and some awesome lists. But my favorite has got to be the book he wrote and illustrated as a child, The Bag Basher which is the story of a cranky old lady who bashes people in the face with her handbags. And there is a sequel too!  The Bag Basher Returns. A must read for any literary-inclined individual!  
 
Lill and Jill: Lill and Jill’s blog is a recent discovery that already has me in stitches. They are roommates who I’m pretty sure are the ones who inspired the sitcom “Two Broke Girls”. Their blog posts are all the light-hearted conversations that they have with each other…which I can assure you are sarcastic and hilarious. Check them out!!
 
And that’s it for today!  I hope you enjoy these blogs as much as I do :)
 
Thank you, thank you, thank you once again for reading all my crap. Your comments and feedback make me happy like a tick on a fat dog. (I’ve been dying to use that phrase. DYING I tell you!)
 
Until next time, happy reading! And be sure to send these awesome bloggers some love too :)

Ten things I`ve learnt from being a WordPress blogger

I’ve been blogging for a little over two years now. You would think I would have been a best-selling author and have publishing houses begging for my signature on book deals by now. But alas… it’s been a slow journey. I have no complaints though. While my personal life has seen better days in the past few years, blogging has been like the first sip of morning coffee. Warm and comforting.

Of course, I’d be lying if I said there were no low points of being completely uninspired and unmotivated. But even at those times, I always knew that I had a little niche that was all my own. I had a small following of people who gave me the satisfaction of having clicked on my blog link even if they could have cared less for its content. Every single view that shows up in my blog stats gets a celebratory smile of gratefulness and satisfaction even till today.

And so, for all the ups and downs of this blog, here are some lessons I managed to take from it:

1. WordPress is the best platform for bloggers. And I’m not just saying that because I’m dying to get Freshly Pressed. (HINT, WordPress. Hint)

2. I’m a much better writer than a speaker. Which means if you are a regular reader of my blog, you’re getting a much better deal out of me as a writer than my real life friends get out of me as a verbal-diarrhea-inclined noise box.

3. The best blog posts I’ve ever written were borne out of social tragedies such as imbeciles on public transit, embarrassing myself in front of attractive men and dating disasters, rather than Google search results for ‘best blog post ideas’.

4. To write well, you have to write what you know. If all you know is how to unsuccessfully run a small business of selling stolen articles, then starting a blog filled with posts on why this a bad idea from your jail cell may be the best idea you could have ever had. Knowing your niche is key.

5. You may be a good writer when you start writing. But you will be a better one if you keep at it… and then maybe even a great one someday without even realising it. But one thing’s for sure, regardless of whether continued blogging makes you a good writer or a great writer, it sure will make you an expert typer.

6. For some bloggers, writer’s block is just another word for fear or stress. But for me, more often than not, it’s another word for laziness.

7. I have the best blog readers in the world.

8. If you can capture your reader’s attention in the first paragraph, then it can be said with a significant amount of certainty that you’ve got them hooked for the rest of it. If however, your way of capturing attention is by posting a nude photo of yourself as the first paragraph then maybe blogging is not for you.

9. Sometimes, the difference between a great blog post with 40 views and an average blog post with 250 views is a catchy blog title. Actually, that’s ALWAYS the difference.

10. Rome wasn’t built in one day. And your blog will not be a smash hit in 3 months. Unless you get Freshly Pressed 15 times in a row. In which case, you’re probably awesome and I’d want to be featured on your blog and ride that wave with you.

There are other lessons that I have learnt but that would throw off the perfect number 10. If you are a blogger, I`d like to know what you`ve learnt from this whole experience? And if you are a 15 time Freshly Pressed blogger, make yourself known.

UPDATE: Dear Everyone,

On March 13th, 2012, over a month after I published this post, WordPress actually Freshly Pressed it! I was only (half)joking about getting Freshly Pressed. And now I am overwhelmed with all the sweet and encouraging  responses this is getting. I cannot thank you all (and WordPress of course) enough for this. Please know that every single one of your ‘likes’, views, follows and wonderful comments got a VERY happy “celebratory smile of gratefulness and satisfaction”. (I haven’t stopped smiling). I will try my very best to respond to all of your comments. Thank you all so much once again.

And the winner is…

It’s true, folks. www.random.org has done its fine work again and come up with a winner for my TSJSC holiday blog contest.

Before I announce who this lucky person is, let me take this opportunity to thank you all so very much much for particiapating. There were 19 entries in total and regardless of whether or not you won, I am grateful for each and every one of you.

So without further ado…

The winner of the 2011 TSJSC contest is *dramatic drum roll*….

Judy

CONGRATULATIONS JUDY!!! WOOHOOO!

The list as spewed out by www.random.org is as follows:

  1. Judy
  2. Alfonso
  3. breezyk
  4. lovelylici1986
  5. prenin
  6. Margaret
  7. Mr. Suares
  8. Santiago Rodriguez
  9. AnaMaria
  10. Myanca Rodrigues
  11. afoxinabox
  12. Sam C.
  13. Ambika
  14. Bernice D’Souza
  15. tinkerbelle86
  16. BROOKEandMCKENZIE
  17. The Author
  18. andrea
  19. hotmess10

Now for the best part…the prize.

The first 5 people on this list will get a personalised thank you letter from yours truly. So, Judy, Alfonso, Breezyk, lovelylici1986 and Prenin, you guys will have to send me an email at d_karie@hotmail.com with your mailing addresses so I can begin to send these out right away!

As for the winner: Judy, this is your prize that will be on its way to you as soon as you send me an email with your address:

An awesome snazztastic TSJSC mug!!!!

 I hope you like it and thank you for being such a faithful reader of my blog! :)

In the spirit of gratitude, the following 3 people will also get personalised thank you letters for their outstanding work in promoting this blog (either consciously or unknowingly):

1) Reader with the most comments: hotmess10. This fellow Toronto blogger has always been so supportive and encouraging. Check out her fitness blog at: www.hotmess10.wordpress.com! Thank you, Diane! You’re awesome like butter on toast.

2) Reader who reeled in the most number of followers to this blog: tinkerbelle86. Tinkerbelle has a humorous and witty blog called “Laughter is Catching”. She lives just across the pond (England) but we all know that if she lived here in Toronto, we would be real life friends! Check her out at: www.laughteriscatching.com

3) Reader(s) who reeled in the second most number of followers to this blog: BROOKEandMCKENZIE. Brooke and McKenzie are my Toronto homegirl bloggers who have a hilarious, relatable and witty dating blog. Their crazy dating stories have made me laugh out loud more than once (or twice). Check out their blog at www.brookeandmckenzie.wordpress.com

And just because I want to, special mention also goes out to Breezyk who not only reeled in tons of followers in the after-glow of her Freshly Pressed status, but also does not have a single blog post that hasn’t made me laugh really hard. I’m determined to make her my real life friend, seeing as how we live in the same city. Check her out at www.breezyk.wordpress.com

And that’s about it folks. Thank you all for reading my blog! Whether you participated in this blog  contest or not, I am grateful for you guys. Until the next blog post, keep laughing and don’t do anything stupid. Oh and the winners and honorable mentions, please email me your mailing addresses at d_karie@hotmail.com  

Karen

Very Important Announcement: Why you should enter my Blog contest…

The title is pretty self-explanatory. Without any more fuss, here’s the case why you should be entering this contest:

1) Because you like my blog.

Now, if the above statement is not true, then please disregard this post and go back to living your TSJSC- deprived life. If the above statement is true however, you may proceed.

2) All this contest requires you to do is to name a post that you enjoyed reading. Here, let me help you on that one. According to my stats, some of my most popular posts are  “Karen’s Guide to maximizing Gym Workouts” which got Freshly Pressed last year, “The New and Improved Boyfriend Screening Process” which was a hot favorite this year, and for some reason that’s beyond me, “Do I look fat in that shirt?” which was my one and only post on fashion, and it was terrible.

See what I just did? I actually just GAVE you the answer to this. You could just pick one of the above post and lie by saying its your favorite. I’m lowering my contest standards for you!! Jeez louise…

3) After some feedback, there seems to be a little confusion about one of the rules that states that you have to refer my blog to two other people. You don’t HAVE to. It’s not a requirement, just a favor. If you don’t want to tell anyone about this blog, it’s all good in the hood.  But this means I just completely removed a rule, thus leaving the only possible excuse now to be laziness. And that’s just shameful.  

Why am I making this so easy for you? Is it because I’m shamelessly soliciting for compliments?

Yes I am.

But the bigger reason here is because I honestly love you all for all the support this blog has gotten. It’s what keeps me going. So many of you have paid me some of the highest compliments, which while is flattering, really encourages me to keep writing. This is my way for thanking you for that.

Yes, I only have one prize (its small but cool) but that doesn’t mean there’s just one winner. The first five on the list will get personalised thank you letters. Plus I’ll have some other fun excuses categories for people to get personalised thank you letters. Because that’s what this contest is about, a big end-of-the year thank you.

So without further ado: Click HERE to enter my blog contest! (please comment under that post, not this one) :D Remember, the last day is Friday, December 9th, 2011

Thank you all so much :)

Also, here’s a fun poll you can also do while you’re at it:

Karen’s TSJSC Holiday Contest

I think its about time that I show you folks some appreciation for all the support this blog has gotten in the past year. I have much to be thankful for. And what better time to do this other than Christmas time!

So without further ado, here it is:

The 2011 TSJSC Holiday Contest/ Giveaway.

Last year, I gave away two movie tickets. But the nature of that giveaway meant I could only give it to a winner in Canada. This year, I understand that I have readers all over the world who deserve a fair shot. With that in mind, this contest is open to EVERYONE, whichever hole or corner of the world you may be at. I will find a way to send you a little something-something to say thank you.

So here are the rules:

1) You need to be a somewhat regular reader of this blog.

2) Comment on this post by telling me what post in the past year you enjoyed the most and what kind of topics you want to see covered more.

3) Refer at least two friends to this blog. A great way of doing this would be to share this blog on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, this particular rule works on the honor system.

Once again, I will use the very reliable www.random.org to decide the winner. I want to include as many “winners” as I possibly can. The first name that shows up on the random list will receive a small gift (TBD) and a personalized thank you letter. The next four names on the list will all receive personalised thank you letters.

Please note that the winners will be required to email me their mailing addresses. Don’t worry, I promise not to sell them.

This contest begins as soon as I hit the Publish button and will end on Friday December 9th, 2011.

You guys all are winners in my books, just so you know. This little blog wouldn’t be what is it without your support. I am grateful for every single one of you. Thank you all so very much once again. It’s been a great year and I hope to bring on more laughs in the year to come.  

Alright then…comment away! And goodluck to everyone!

I need your help!

Let me start with my problem. You see, for the past 28 days, all I have been doing is waking up at 11 in the morning, watching Bold and the Beautiful, streaming movies, and drinking copious amounts of milk in hopes that it will heal my broken foot. The highlight of my day is taking a shower. Getting into a tub with one leg is a one-hour circus act, let me tell you!

So needless to say, life is tough. Clearly, I’ve been about as busy as a one-legged man at a butt kicking contest. But I have to be strong and keep trudging on…. doing absolutely nothing (thanks for the sympathy so far). If you asked me 28 days ago pre-foot breakage, I would have told you what all of you are thinking by now anyway. This is the perfect vacation. Exactly what I needed.

Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I dying to go back to work but I would like to be able to walk to Starbucks again and get myself a latte. Possibly toy with the possibility of having a social life again. Which brings me to the problem at hand:

Maybe its all the soap operas and mindless movies I’ve been watching. Maybe its all the milk I’ve been drinking that’s making me a human gas chamber (why would I tell you this? gross.) Maybe it’s sitting around all day doing nothing.

Maybe its all of the above and more that is making my brain like play dough in water, but my blogging is taking a downward spiral. The one thing I have left that convinces me I’m still somewhat intellectual and sane, is slipping. I have nothing to blog about.

Now wait, that’s not completely true. I do have a host of blogging topics that I could fire away, but unless you want to hear about me spending my days doing nothing, or the mild shock my body when through when I all of a sudden decided it was in my broken foot’s best interest to have a “calcium-rich diet” consisting of spinach and milk, or how I sleep 10 hours everyday, I got NOTHING for you. Ya hear me? Nothing.

This broken foot of mine has mostly been a block of epic proportions: a work block, a friend block, a Starbucks block, a cockblock…and the worst of all, writer’s block.

So I need your help. Since my usual ration of freaks, freak accidents and mishaps have been cut off for at least another few weeks, what can I blog about? Maybe you want my humorous take on something? Maybe you want me to talk about a particular topic? Anything at all that piques your interest? Or maybe you just want me to shut the hell up? Because I will even take that and go on with my life of movies and idleness.

So if you do have something in mind or you happen to think of something, please comment on this blog post (or shoot me an email) and let me know. I would love to hear from all of you. Maybe I might not be able to cover every single suggestion. Maybe some of your suggestions might suck. But I promise I will at least consider every single one of them.

Thank you all for reading. Hopefully, you will have a lot more interesting reads soon. But if you don’t, you’ll only have yourself to blame for that ;)