I Need Your Feedback!

I want to start a new regular feature on this blog, but I’m a little at a loss as to what I want it to be. I have been wracking my brain to come up with ideas, and I have a few, so I want to know what my readers want to see. Please participate in this poll, and give me an idea of what you’d like to see me feature as a weekly topic.

Like the poll says, if you have an idea not already listed, please leave a comment detailing what you’d like to see as a weekly feature. This poll will run for one week, you can choose multiple answers, and is open to one vote per person. I’m really excited to get your feedback! Thanks for helping me make this a blog you want to read!

UGH!

So, you may have noticed I completely changed up the look of my blog yet again. What? You didn’t notice? You can’t be serious! Anyway, I’m trying to personalize it and make it uniquely me, which is hard, since I’m such a perfectionist, and nothing seems to look right.

So bear with me. Taking this Blogging 101 course through WordPress has taught me that there is actually a lot I can do to make this mine in my own way, and now I’m struggling to figure out how to put my personal touch on it. My goal is to keep it clean and functional, yet make it look like I would want it to look. I’m finding this is more of a challenge than I imagined when I started out.

I’m always open to ideas, so if you’ve dropped by and happened to read this, and you’ve got a fabulous idea that it’s obvious I haven’t thought of, please let me know in a comment. Also, if you’ve got any cool links you think would be worth me checking out regarding customizing this little blog, please let me know. 🙂

We’re So Impersonal Sometimes

I found an interesting blog post yesterday by someone I follow – “Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss.” She mentioned her dad turning 99, which I congratulated him on, and mentioned that my great-grandmother turned 100 this month. Apparently, it’s customary, at least in England, to get a card or letter from the Queen on an important birthday such as that. She asked me if my grandmother had gotten one from our President.

I suppose she could have gotten a birthday card from him if it had occurred to me to write him and ask him to send her one. Here in America, it’s not typical to get special mail such as that from anyone in office. You’ll get birthday postcards from your dentist and your doctor, perhaps, but the only time you get any sort of birthday-related mail from anyone in the government is when you’re nearing retirement age and the Social Security Administration wants to make sure you’re aware of the huge list of documents you’ll need to apply for your retirement benefits.

We’re so impersonal in this country, yet at the same time, we allow our government to know more than they need to about us. It’s so moronically stupid, sometimes I want to bang my head against a wall.

Maybe we should focus on making our country more personal again. This is just my two cents, so take it for what it’s worth.

No, You’re Not Imagining Things!

Today’s task for Blogging101 was to try out at least 3 new themes to make sure you like the theme you are currently using on your blog. I honestly thought I really liked my last theme. I actually loved it. But, I followed the assignment because I know I’ve got some learning to do. So, I headed over to the themes area to browse through the themes. I kept thinking, “No, that doesn’t look right” after previewing about 5 of them, and then I came to this current theme. I don’t know how I missed it when I set my blog up originally.

This is a pretty awesome theme, I think. I love it more than I loved my last theme. I had to have it. I knew this one is way better suited to me than my last.

So, do you like it better? I was originally using Fiore, but now I’ve got Lovebirds. If you like it, but feel there’s something missing on my blog, let me know what it is. I’ve tried to make sure I’ve got all the major widgets on here, but there’s always the possibility I’ve missed something important.

Things That Bring me Happiness

Everyone has a thing or things that bring a smile to their face, that can turn even the shittiest day better. For me, it’s a nice latte, sitting on the beach with the wind in my face, listening to my favorite music, watching Looney Tunes, sparkling pink moscato,  or adding to my Hello Kitty collection. I love all of these things, and if I’m in a slump or my day started out on the wrong foot, I know how to make it better.

Yes. I’m a Hello Kitty addict.

“Hi, everyone. I’m Anna, and I’m addicted to the Hello Kitty franchise.”

“Hi, Anna!”

I can’t say exactly when I first discovered Hello Kitty, but I know I was already an adult by that time. I dove in head first. Hello Kitty stuffies bring me a certain childish pleasure that I can’t really explain. I think I may be drawn to them because I didn’t have a particularly awesome childhood, and it’s my small way of going back and being a child again, now that I’m an adult. It’s innocent, and just hugging up to my huge TY stuffed Hello Kitty Beanie makes me feel all warm and secure.

When I’m just feeling really “BLAH!” I pull out our espresso machine and make myself a nice tall caramel latte. I haven’t mastered the art that is a macchiatto, but I can make the meanest latte you’ve ever had! My husband prefers a dark chocolate latte, but I’m a caramel girl. Lattes make me feel warm and secure inside. I don’t know what it is about them that does this. You’d think the high caffeine content would give me a serious case of the jitters, but for some reason it calms me. I was so proud of the lattes I created a few months ago, I took a picture of mine. I think it’s beautiful!

Latte

I’m also a wine snob. I dislike a lot of wines, and even within the flavors I do like, there are brands I refuse to drink. One particular wine I’m crazy about is sparkling pink moscato. But, not just any brand will do. There are brands, like Amusant, Korbel, and Andre that I think taste like crap. I do like Beringer and Zibibbo, which is a little-known Aussie brand that I can only seem to find around Thanksgiving at Trader Joe’s. Zibibbo gives me a grin. If you pop open a bottle of that around me, I’ll be your best friend.

Zibibbo

I’m a huge music aficionado. I like to think I have eclectic tastes, but one genre I refuse to listen to is country. I hate country. If you want to ruin my day, force me to listen to country. If you want to make my day, put on just about anything else. Well, anything but Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin is about as bad as country. But seriously! I’m crazy about music. I’ve already shown you what I’ve got going on my iPod in the car right now, but what about a small taste of what else I like? My favorite band is Green Day. This song, Jesus of Suburbia is probably my favorite song by them.

My favorite place to go to get away from everything is the beach. It’s a long drive, but it’s worth it to just sit in the sand, watching the waves and feeling the wind blowing in my face. When we moved here, my husband showed me a sweet spot in Orange County that’s never too crowded, and I like going there if I have a chance. It doesn’t even matter if I can’t get in the water. Just being able to sit down and feel like I’m just a speck on the sand feels cleansing.

Watching Looney Tunes is a small guilty pleasure I like to indulge in from time to time, and my son is more than happy to oblige me. I think I’m developing another Looney Toons addict in him. Looney Toons makes me feel like I can just forget about everything and watch the coyote fail at trying to catch the Roadrunner time and time again. It always puts a smile on my face. When I get sick, all I want to do is lay out on my couch and flip on Looney Toons. For some reason, old cartoons are comforting.

What makes you smile? Are there any guilty pleasures you indulge in to bring happiness?

What’s in a Name?

My blog’s name is pretty straightforward. I chose it and my tagline as a cheeky way of explaining what my blog would be about without having to come out and say, “This blog is about anything and everything, all and nothing.” I also thought the title was rather catchy, and when I came up with it, I immediately fell in love with it. I’m usually a perfectionist, and nothing is ever good enough for me, but when I thought up “Apparently Anna,” it clicked so well with me it was almost as if those words had been destined to be my title.

I like my blog. I like my layout and the title, and I even like my nifty little tagline. Now, if I could just do a better job of coming here every day and writing something, we’d be golden! I think that’s the hardest part of blogging. I either get so busy and caught up in other things that I forget it and it falls by the wayside, or I feel like I’ve got a case of writer’s block and can’t think of anything that I want to write about.

So, what do you, my readers, think of my blog, title, and tagline?

Hey! I’m Anna!

I realize I’ve kind of started my blog off without really giving people much of an introduction to myself. I like to keep a certain mystique about myself on the wider internet, but I also realize that people can get very confused about what I talk about when I don’t give any proper context for them to draw from. So, with that said, here goes!

You can call me Anna. I live here in the Los Angeles area. It’s freakin’ HUGE! I’m still trying to learn all the names of all the little cities that make up this large metropolitan area since we moved here a year ago, and I haven’t even seen half of it yet. I love living in a large city, though. I like having access to everything I could possibly want really close by. The only thing I’m not a huge fan of is the traffic, but I’ll deal with it because it’s a necessary evil to living in America’s second largest city. There’s no getting away from it.

I’m married. I’ve been with my husband for 8 years, roughly, and married to him for 7. We’ve got an 8-year-old man-child who thinks the world revolves around him, and sometimes it does, but there are times I wish he’d figure out that it’s not always all about him. He’s a special needs child – he uses a wheelchair because he has cerebral palsy.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. I blog because I love to talk and I love to type and I’m always online it seems, anyway, so I might as well put my thoughts out there for other people to see. I’m very opinionated, if you haven’t figured that out already. I love, love, love to cook and bake. Did I say I love to cook? I share my favorite recipes because I don’t think any good recipe should be kept to oneself. I’m also a news-aholic and politics junkie. I started this blog as a catch-all type journal of my thoughts and feelings on the world at large and what everything means to me.

I love reading other blogs that have similar interests to mine. I am a bibliophile, so book blogs are very interesting, because I have a hard time finding books I like, sometimes. Obviously, cooking and baking blogs snag my interest rather quickly, because I’m always hunting down new recipes to try. I love reading newsy-type blogs because I like seeing the perspectives of others current events. I just like reading blogs in general.

I started my blog in hopes of making a few blogger friends and expanding my horizons a little bit. Even though I’m a very out-going and extroverted person, I’m a bit of a homebody, and I tend to use the internet as a window into the larger world. I’d even go so far as to say I use the web as my main form of communication with those not in my immediate vicinity. I’ve got a large circle of online friends, most of whom I’ve met at one time or another, and I thought that by starting a blog I could keep them updated a little with my life outside of using Facebook.