January 31, 2014

A funny thing happened on the way to the doctor’s

This post is part of a writing prompt blog hop some lovely ladies host called FTSF (Finish the Sentence Friday).  If you haven’t heard of it, I highly recommend checking it out!   This week’s prompt was to finish this sentence:

A funny thing happened on the way to…

So, here it goes:

Well, it wasn't so much a "ha ha" type of funny, than it was a "I have to find the humor in this" funny before I rip my hair out and lose my mind!

January 28, 2014

I’d say I need a vacation if my kid weren’t such a trip

Being a stay-at-home mommy to a 3 year old, while rewarding, is more challenging than anything else.  Luckily for me I’ve always had a lot of patience.  Or at least I thought I did, until Alivia turned 3 and started to prove me wrong.  And while there are days I’d like to curl up in a ball, suck my thumb, and cry myself to sleep, most days I try to see the humor in things.  I try to step out of my body as if I were an outsider watching us on TV.  I try to imagine the genre we’d fit it into on each particular day.  For instance, one day on my way upstairs to see what Alivia was doing, I found Vaseline all over her face, neck, clothes and, yep, in her hair.  It was awesome having to scurry to clean her up as we had plans to go out.  Yes, I’m being facetious.  On that day, I’d say we were a comedy; the two of us!  See, I can be easy going.  While “the episode” was rather inconvenient, who wouldn’t have laughed at the sight of their toddler all greased up with that “deer in headlights” expression on their face while mommy repeatedly asked “why would you do this?” as if it could be rationalized.  Seriously?  Of course, I’d take those days over serious ones any time.  In fact, days like those are a break from what seems to be the norm these days.  The norm being Livi doing something she’s not supposed to and mommy having to put her in her room.  If you read, Crying, and whining, and tantrums, oh my, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.  It’s been a struggle for the both of us lately. 

January 27, 2014

The PINcentive Blog Hop will resume next week!

The PINcentive Blog Hop will resum on February 4th via Cropped Stories

The Google Alert for Post Ideas

What is the most challenging part of blogging for you?  For me, it's finding content that will stand out from the other one billion posts published on on the same subject.  If you can relate, let me introduce you to Google Alerts.  It's a great tool that allows you to receive notifications on a particular search query providing you with the most current and relevant search results on Google.  In other words, if you'd like to receive notifications on social media, you would type social media in the search query box, choose your result type, how often you'd like to receive these notifications, and how many results you'd like to receive.  Google Alerts gives you two ways to receive this information. One is to your email address, the other is to your feed.  For a great tutorial on how to use Google Alerts, I recommend this article on wikiHow.

January 22, 2014

How to make a post gallery for your sidebar!

Hello readers of Cropped Stories! I'm Alicia and I blog over at A Sweet Fragrance. My family and I are American-born but live as expats over in SE Asia. I blog about our life overseas, recipes I attempt to make while substituting lots of ingredients, projects I do around the house, "tot school" lessons I teach to my toddler, and lessons I learn through parenting and walking with the Lord. I hope you'll stop by my blog for a visit!

Just before the year 2013 came to an end, I decided I wanted to redesign my blog. I had a picture of what I wanted for the new design in my head but getting that design to appear on my blog required turning my thoughts into HTML coding.

January 20, 2014

The PINcentive Blog Hop: Week 19

Welcome to the nineteenth week of our blog hop!  Last week I shared the winner’s posts that were pinned the most times since our hop went live for the first time back in September.  Since the numbers were so impressive, I thought I’d feature our Pinterest All-stars once again!

As a reminder, the winners of our hop get some major Pinterest exposure when their content gets pinned by my team of pinners (below) and by, YOU, the blog hop participant!  I’m happy to report that the number of times our winner’s content gets pinned has been averaging around 60-70 times!  As fantastic as this number already is, there are still many times our winner’s posts are pinned well over 100 times!  Take a look for yourself!

January 16, 2014

Free Customizable Valentine’s Day Cards

Love is in the air; I can feel it!  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought I’d offer YOU some free Valentine’s Day Cards!  These are for those that will be printing their cards at home or know of a fabulous printer they’ve already worked with in the past!  You can steal my cards in one of two ways.  Either by downloading the Adobe Photoshop .psd file to customize yourself or by completing my form to have me do the work for you!  That’s right!  I will insert your images into my template and personalize with your family name(s). 

January 15, 2014

Will you rate my birth announcement designs?

Hey everyone! In case you are unfamiliar with the birth announcement design challenge on Minted, I blogged about it here on Friday.  I’m super excited to have entered this design challenge and am hoping you’ll take the time to rate my designs.  By rating for my designs, you are NOT voting for me.  You are only judging my designs on a scale of 1 – 5 letting both the Minted community and judges know what you think.   And though the public ratings are taken into consideration when they choose the winners, please be honest.  I don’t believe in soliciting ratings from family, friends, or the blog-o-sphere just for the sake of scoring high.  I really want your honest opinion, and I can assure you that all ratings are anonymous.

January 13, 2014

The PINcentive Blog Hop: Week 18

Welcome to the eighteenth week of the blog hop!  This week, I thought it might be fun to let you in on the numbers.  You know the numbers I’m talking about right? 

The winners of our hop get some major Pinterest exposure when their content gets pinned by my team of pinners (below) and by, YOU, the blog hop participant!  I’m happy to report that the number of times our winner’s content gets pinned has been averaging around 60-70 times!  As fantastic as this number already is, there are still many times our winner’s posts are pinned well over 100 times!  Take a look for yourself at, what I’m calling, Our PINcentive Blog Hop Pinterest All-stars!

January 10, 2014

The Minted Birth Announcement Design Challenge!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s been a little slow over here in the land of Cropped Stories.  Today, however, I thought I’d let you in on the big reason behind me being MIA for the past several weeks with the exception of my blog hop (of course) and a little venting about the little one driving me absolutely bonkers

I’m excited to share that I’ve been designing birth announcement cards for the Minted design challenge!  In case you aren’t familiar with Minted, here’s a little about them straight from their website:

January 8, 2014

Crying, and Whining, and Tantrums, Oh My!

It donned on me, while I rinsed off dishes to put in the dishwasher, that I just asked my 3 year old if she was going to cry every day for the rest of her life as if she were capable of answering it honestly.  Or as if it were a fair question to ask a child that age.  

At the time, I'm sure she thought she was answering honestly as she mumbled what I thought sounded like a "yes", but I can't be sure since it got lost in the high pitch sounds of what resembled a puppy cry.  This is what it sounded like when Alivia started to whine.  Between her crying, and whining for what seemed to be the one millionth time that day, I thought I was going to lose it!  Mind you, I haven't been feeling well.  I have been fighting a sinus infection that spread through the house like a forest fire and even still, I mustered up the patience to make a silly game out of asking her not to run around the kitchen island near the hot stove.  I would physically redirect her every time she would get near the stove, turning her around and pushing her off towards her dad who would do the same thing as she approached the other side of the island.  All of a sudden, before the hubby and I knew it, she was crying and acting like her moody little self.  You can imagine my patience, at this time, was dwindling, and quickly.  I still demonstrated control when I demanded she go to her room in a relaxed and eager voice as if I were asking a waiter for the dessert menu. I can't deny that I was eager for her to go to her room so that I could enjoy some peace and quiet.  I don't know what I was thinking.  No sooner than we closed the door to her bedroom was she in full out tantrum mode.  Screaming, kicking, crying, whining, etc.! 

January 6, 2014

The PINcentive Blog Hop: Week 17

Welcome to the seventeenth week of the blog hop!  As always, a BIG THANK YOU is in order to everyone that has been linking up.  More so for making it EXTREMELY difficult for our co-hosts to choose winners each week and providing us with such great recipes, crafts, tips, parenting advice, tutorials, (you name it)!  Your content has truly been a pleasure to read, and it keeps getting better each week!

If this is your first time linking up; WELCOME!  I am extremely excited to provide this link up for you today and the opportunity for you to increase your traffic, followers, and improve your page rank! 

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