Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Music Recommendations

In the process of writing these posts every month, I've learned that I'm really bad at describing music. For some reason, it's very difficult for me, when listening to music, to assign a genre, style or even feel to the song. Of course, I know if a song is acoustic or not, or pop or not, but other than that, describing music is something I suck at. So do me a favor, and just listen to a song or two. 

These songs are fun. They make me want to dance (or at least wiggle in my desk chair a little). I hope you like them! 

As always, I'd love if you leave any recommendations for me in the comments. Have a good one!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How You Can Support Bloggers

This post has been on my mind a lot lately. It seems more and more than readers (many of whom are bloggers) are becoming "lurkers", meaning that these people come to blogs, read the posts, and then leave. Unfortunately, I'm well acquainted with this group, because I struggle with being a lurker. But even more unfortunately, over the last few years, I've noticed that this trend is weakening the strong communities that used to exist between bloggers and readers. 

I don't expect everyone who reads a blog post to suddenly become best friends with the blogger. Obviously. If you find a post on Pinterest + find exactly what you need + don't plan to return to the blog, I don't expect you to reach out to the blogger. But to all of you...who read the same blogs every week? This post is for you.

All bloggers love a little love. I'm not writing this post as a needy call for comments and emails from y'all. I just want to do what I can to boost the mutual friendships around these parts. So here's what you can do, to keep bloggers spirits alive, to thank them for their hard work and to make new friends:

+ Comment. Seriously, this is the easiest thing ever + I don't know about other bloggers, but comments mean so much to me. Comments on my posts means that my writing made someone react, made them feel something. That is so important to me. If a blogger's post is helpful, inspiring, interesting or just funny, let them know. But bloggers, you have to do your part too. Install a comment platform that's easy. I use Disqus. Respond to comments (within reason) so that readers feel heard.

+ When another blogger releases a new service, like consultations, sponsorships or some sort of store, congratulate them. Encourage them. It takes a lot of courage to release new ventures like that + I know a lot of bloggers feel disillusioned when they are met with complaints about being "too salesy". Even if you don't buy the service, try to refrain from complaining. 

+ Help promote bloggers that help or inspire you. If a post is helpful or has particularly gorgeous images, pin them. If you know of someone else who would needs to read a post, share it with them.

+ Look for ways to participate. If a blogger hosts a survey, please fill it out. I'm sure it'll only take a few moments + the blogger is probably asking for your opinion because she (or he!) wants you to like their blog even more. That's super nice of them, isn't it? If they host a link up (and you're a blogger in a related topic), join it! 

+ Keep a blogroll on your blog (assuming you're a blogger). I like to keep my navbar very clean, but my blogroll is very important for me to share. If you like reading my blog, you'll probably find a few that you like on my blogroll. This helps the reader + other bloggers + everyone is happier! 

+ Semi-related--if you're looking for new blogs to read, go to all your current faves and click on their sponsors. Chances are, your favorite blogger is sponsored by similar blogs + I bet you'll find some you like! Plus, sponsors who get new readers = repeat sponsors = funding for your favorite blogger. 

On that note, thank you all for reading. I love that you're here + I wish I could get to know all of you. If any of this post struck a chord with you, I'd love if you'd share/comment :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Miniseries! And 5 Ingenious TEDTalks

This summer, I really wanted to make sure that I didn't just lounge around lazily and regress to being about as smart as a potato with eyes (OITNB reference!). Most summers, I feel like I happily laze around the beach and watch TV--which is great...until classes start back up. Then I realize that I can't remember how to long divide or spell 'embarrass'. 

So this summer, I took a more strategic approach to my activities. To use an annoying phrase, I wanted to "train my brain". This meant that I read books, listened to podcasts, read science journals + watched lectures and educational videos. Surprisingly (or maybe not, if you know anything about my nerdy self), it was super fun for me! I felt smart and at the top of my brain-game (annoying phrase number two) and actually enjoyed learning new things! 

As a new mini-series, I want to share more about these ways I stay mentally active over summer and outside of classes. Also--if anyone can come up with a name for this miniseries, I'll gladly credit you + send you a really nice piece of snail mail. Give me ideas in the comments!!

Today, I'm sharing my favorite TEDtalks. If you don't know, TEDtalks are lectures given by people in all sorts of fields about new ideas, projects, or perspectives. They're short--often 10 minutes or less!

PRO TIP: Watch with subtitles so you don't miss anything!

And, another pro tip: the topics section. Sort videos by topics that interest you--for me that means productivity, marine life, music, etc. For you, that could be something totally different! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Call Me Sassafras on Instagram!

I know I'm a wee bit late in announcing this, but I just wanted all y'all to know that I finally made an instagram for Call Me Sassafras! The account will share behind-the-scenes snapshots of the blog, my calligraphy/paper art/design and my life, not to mention music that I'm currently listening to. Here are a few examples of things I've recently posted.

You can follow me on Instagram here or from your phone via the instagram at @callmesassafras!



1 / My behind-the-scenes process of making cards for the fair earlier in the summer.
2 / A gorgeously designed tea tin found at a Goodwill--and happily purchased for 25 cents!
3 / Sometimes I doodle my feelings (while I should have been packing).
4 / Delicious kiwi gelato with my family.
5 / Proof that YES, Lake Michigan is wavy enough to surf in. 

Leave a comment here or on my instagram + say hi!