Three Top Tips

You know how you can tell which bloggers are "just starting out", and which have been around for quite a while? Well I was thinking, what if there was a way for the more established bloggers to help out the newbies? I know we all want to build a better blog, whether it's attracting more followers or subscribers, figuring out when (and what) to blog about, knowing all the ins and outs of designing, or even just knowing how to do a bit of html. I'm not saying I'm a professional or anything, but there are some tips I've found about blogging that I'd like to be able to share with other bloggers. I'm sure you've found some as well.
So - introducing:

Three Top Tips is just like what it sounds like: an event for you to post the three most beneficial tips you have come across in your blogging journey. A way for you to give a little something, and hopefully pick up a little something too.

Here's how it will work. The event will be held on July 1st through the 4th. On the 1st, I will post my three top tips, with a linky list for you to link to. Any time from July 1st to July 4th you can create a post of your own three top tips, and then add it to the list. On Monday (July 5th), I will put up a poll on my sidebar for people to vote for the Twelve "Tip-Top" Tips out of all the tips entered. (Don't you just love that tongue twister?)

Here are the Official Rules:

1. Anyone can participate. :) As long as you can come up with three things that have benefited you in your blogging journey, you are welcome to join in! Please don't feel intimidated by the long-time bloggers or bloggers who have several hundred followers or whatever else may intimidate you. It doesn't matter how long you have been blogging or how many followers you have - you have tips to share! And besides, who knows how many bloggers might benefit from what you've learned?

2. Make sure that your tips are not just preferences. For example, a good tip would be: "Don't have the background of your posts be a similar or conflicting color with the color of your words." A preference would be more like "A three-column blog looks nicer than a two-column blog." 

3. If your tips are specific for a certain kind of blog, that is great as well! Just please make sure to state that next to the tip. (i.e. Tip #1 [for photography blog] )

4. Please only post three tips! I know it's hard to narrow things down, but I did pick the number three for a reason (and no - the reason wasn't just for alliteration). This way you have to think carefully and only post your very best tips. Some ideas for you are to pick the three things that were the most helpful to you when starting, or maybe the three things you learned that radically changed the way you blog or the amount of followers you received.

I would love to have a lot of participation in this so we can get a wide range of tips and tricks. So please, spread the word! Take my button and put it on your sidebar, post about it, tell all your friends, tell all your neighbors.... well, maybe not that radical, but you catch my drift. ;) And be sure to tell all the newbie bloggers you know (online or in real life). I really want this event to be an encouragement and help to them.

I hope you all enjoy this event, and I look forward to seeing all of your insights on July 1st!


You Asked For It!

Here are the videos of me playing my compositions like you asked for! I've uploaded two for your enjoyment. It's been pretty amazing how each day this week I will just sit down at the piano and compose a new song. It is so much fun. :)
Please make sure to turn off the music player on the sidebar before you watch them. 

This first one is called "Frustration", and is based off of a very simple (but effective) chord progression. I imagine someone sitting down at the piano and starting a song, but quickly getting frustrated that it just repeats over and over again:

This song is tentatively titled "Press On". I envision a person on a journey, exhausted and weary beyond belief, yet always finding new strength in God. I'd like to know how it speaks to you!
The song is not quite "finished" - i.e. there are probably parts I will take out or polish a little more. And the ending is rather drawn out because I wasn't really solid on how I was going to end it. But here it is, for your enjoyment:


Happy is the Word

Yes, happy is definitely the word for my mood today. Here's the reasons why:

1. I changed/modified my blog! I decided (after much deliberation) to go along with the "clean and fresh" look and got rid of my background (and changed a few other things). What do you think?

2. I finally got a haircut. (I kind of have a love-hate relationship with my hair: I love it when it's long because it looks nice, but I also hate it because it makes me hot and uncomfortable.) My friend cut it for me, and she did a great job. :) I think it was about two inches off, which is so much nicer and cooler for summer.

3. I'm still working on 30,000 words in 30 Days (and about 12,000 words behind!).  I've taken to doing early morning writing sessions with a very good friend who is also a writer. We wake up at 6:00 am, get on our computers and write (and chat) together for a couple of hours. It really is enjoyable. :) And even though I am so behind, I'm still happy that I can write consistently each day.

4. I've composed a total of at least four songs this week. :) They're all still swirling around in my brain, and I don't want to lose them (or mix them up!), so I video'd myself playing them. If y'all ask nicely, I may post one or two.... ;)

5. God has really been blessing my life recently, in so many more ways than I can express or count. If I didn't have Him, my happiness would be fleeting and empty. But in Him, I have boundless delight.


Modest Fashion Day 5

Well, it's the last day of Modest Fashion week!

I couldn't resist wearing pink again. ;) The shirt I got as a gift from a friend. Capri's are from Kohl's (I believe they were $15). Flip-flops were also from Kohl's (like $10 or so).

I just wore my hair down today, as we went to the lake and swam. And the flowers are embroidered all over my shirt. :)

Well, this modest fashion week has been fun! I hope you all have enjoyed seeing my outfits. :) I'm so thankful that it really is possible to dress modestly and fashionably. :D


Modest Fashion Days 3 & 4

Well, I didn't get around to writing a post for Modest Fashion Week yesterday, so I'm combining Day 3 and Day 4.

Yesterday, I wore all brown. (I think my obsession is evident, now.) The shirt is from Salvation Army (for like $3 or something), and the pants are from Kohl's (my second favorite place to shop). They were $15.

I didn't wear a skirt, but I don't believe a girl has to wear a skirt in order to be modest. I try to be modest in my actions, not just what I wear.

I twisted my hair and pulled it back with a clip. Here's a picture from the side:

And where are the flowers, you ask? The pants have embroidered flowers on the sides. It's hard to see in this picture, but they are there. ;)

So, today I decided to try to find an outfit that was not either brown or pink (no small task, I tell you!) This is what I came up with:

The skirt I got at Kohl's for about $10, I believe. I got the shirt so long ago I don't remember where I got it... but I'm sure I got it for a good deal. ;)

Oh, and the flowers? Yes, I did better today. I have flower earrings!


Modest Fashion Week (Day 2)

Well, it's Modest Fashion Week over at Samantha's blog Simple Delights. I totally forgot about it yesterday, but I remembered today! The challenge is to wear modest, pretty feminine clothing (with a "flower" theme).

I strive to wear modest clothing, but it really is difficult in today's immodest, "anything goes" society. So I'm very glad to be participating in this week dedicated to modest fashions, and to find other girls who have the same mindset.

Here is my outfit for today:

Yes, today was a pink and brown day! Can you tell from my bedspread that those are my favorite colors? I love them even more together. :) I believe both the shirt and skirt I got at resale shops for under $10.

I'm just wearing my hair down, which is what I typically do. It is getting a little long and annoying, though. Hopefully I'll get it cut soon. :)

I am wearing sandals, but my younger brother was taking the picture and he couldn't quite get my feet. (This is in my room, by the way, which is extremely small.) I'll probably be wearing the sandals most of the week, so you should get a picture of them another day. :D

Oh, and where are the flowers, you ask? Hidden in the pattern of my skirt. ;) Yes, I know, it is a little stretching it, but I couldn't find any jewelry or anything that had flowers on it! I'll just have to do better tomorrow!


And the Winners Are...

Yes, my giveaway is over!
I did the "true random number generator." this afternoon, and picked three numbers. Would you like to know what they are?

4, 7, and 17.

Yes, I know, that doesn't tell you much. But I like a little suspense!

Do you like suspense? I like it - but only when I'm doing it for others, not when they're doing it to me. :P

Okay, I know I'm just stalling. Here you go:

The winners are:

4: Lizzie!

7: Maggie!

17: Lindsay!

Congrats, ladies! You will each receive one book, one lotion, and one necklace! If you have not already done so, please let me know what your preferences are for the prizes (But also keep in mind that you may not be able to get exactly what you ask for). Please also send me your address either in a comment (which I won't publish), or in an email (my email can be found in the "contact me" on my header). I will try to send these off to you as soon as possible!

Well, this was a lot of fun! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. :D


Don't Forget!

Just a reminder to let you know my giveaway is ending today! This is your last chance to enter, because it's gonna end at 12pm tonight. :) I'm giving away 9 things - for a total of 3 prizes! So go on over there and enter while you can! :D

And, to make this post not too short (or boring, hehe),I have an award to bestow on some of you. :)

Eldarwen awarded me the Prolific Blogger award:

About this award: A prolific blogger is one who is intellectually productive, keeping up an active blog with enjoyable content. After accepting this award, recipients are asked to pass it forward to seven other deserving blogs.

Well, hopefully she doesn't think I'm posting too much. ;)

I award:
Hannah at Aspire
Awel at Shilah
Bekah at The Word Crafter
Eden at Heirs of Promise
Cassie at Inside My Mind
Memzie at The Last Memzie (love her new blog title, by the way!)
Caroline at A Writer's Life for Me

Have a lovely Saturday, friends!


The Melody of my Life

I picked the name "Melody" as my name on the blog world for a reason. Music, inspiration, and words - that's what makes up a melody. And that's also what makes up my life.

This is my longer "About Me", which I thought you would enjoy. (It can be found by clicking on the "about me" in my header).

Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway on this post! It's ending tomorrow!

I LIKE... to think of my life as a song God is writing. I'm always looking to catch a glimpse of His illusive, ethereal melody which He has put in my heart. And I constantly try to put the unexplainable into words by my own musical compositions. 

I LOOK... for the beauty in everything, because I know that the Creator made everything to reflect His beauty in some way. And I desire to proclaim His attributes to the world!

I WRITE...  for God's glory. All my poems, my stories, my novels and my blog posts are written to reflect a little of the glory God has revealed in my life. I desire for them to be a catalyst to bring people closer to God.

I COMPOSE... to express myself. I play the piano, though I would love to play violin and guitar as well (and develop my voice). Playing on the piano is the easiest way for me to create beauty that reflects my Maker. My compositions are like dewdrops from my soul; reflecting my emotions as well as the One who composed my life.

I CAPTURE... God's creation in photography. I will admit I'm an amateur photographer, but I love to experiment, and I often will take a picture just because "it would be an awesome photograph!" I see beauty everywhere I look, and it's my desire to capture it as often as I can. (click here to see my photography blog)

I LOVE... my life. I am preparing for college, and I am holding tight to the memories and people I love. My friends, though few, are each rare jewels in my sight and God's, and I treasure them. My family is my source of support and stability, and I don't know where I'd be without them. My God is my sole satisfaction, and in Him I find boundless delight and comfort.

I AM... a Melody in the mouth of my Savior. I always have a song in my heart and on my lips. And I would have it no other way.


The Profoundness of Life

Awel over at Shilah is doing a new meme on Tuesdays. The theme is: "finding two inspiring thoughts for one day."


Well, I have some pretty deep thoughts for you. About life.

{1} Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you died? I know it's a rather gruesome question, and people often don't like to think about it. But I have, very recently, actually.

I had a near-death experience yesterday. It is actually a miracle that I'm still alive and here to post this post - I really should have been dead or at least badly injured.

Being that close to death really made me slow down and think. Think about the awesomeness of my God, and how He sends His guardian angels to watch over me and protect me. Think about all of the people near me who love me so very much, and all of the lives I touch or could touch. Think about all of the people I would want to say something to before I died.... the legacy I would be leaving behind.... what people would say of me. Would people say of my life, "She lived for Christ," or would they just say, "She was a good person."? I want it to be plain and clear to others that I'm living my life for Christ. After all, He has saved my life! I want everyone to know what He has done for me. 

I want to challenge you, as I'm challenging myself - can others plainly see Christ in you? Is Christ the focus of your conversations, the one love and desire of your life? Or is He someone you like to keep hidden unless people actually ask you about him?

What do you think will be your legacy when you're gone? Will people remember you, or will they remember Christ in you?

{2} I wrote a song the other day, and I was having the hardest time coming up with a title for it. It doesn't have words, but it definitely evokes a mood. My brother said it sounded like a story - others said it sounded like a sunrise, or spring, or even the Redemption story. I posted it on facebook and got my friends' thoughts and advice, but still I couldn't come up with a suitable title. Finally yesterday morning, shortly before the near-death experience, I played it one last time. When I was done, I folded my hands and prayed, asking God to give me the title.

Well, He did.

I call it, "My Prayer".

(make sure to turn off the music player before watching the video)


It is More Blessed

...to give than to receive.

Since I received this beautiful blog makeover for free, I decided I would give something away for free as well. Therefore, I am hosting - yes, you got it - a GIVEAWAY!

Edit: I will be picking three winners who will each receive 1 book, 1 lotion, and 1 necklace. So let me know (in one comment) which book, which lotion, and which necklace you're interested in. :) 
Also, I will ship only to USA and Canada (so I'm very sorry if you're not from there!)

Here are the items I'm giving away:

I will pick three winners who will each receive one out of these four Janette Oke books:

Each of them will also receive one of these three lotions:

And each of them will receive one out of these three necklaces:

Here's what you have to do:
1. Follow my blog (or let me know if you're already a follower) -1 entry
2. Follow my photography blog (or let me know if you're already a follower) - 1 entry
3. Comment on this post and let me know which of each of the items you'd like to win. - 1 entry
4. Put my button on your blog. - 1 entry
4. Post about the giveaway and let me know in a comment -2 entries

Now if you read my blog off of my facebook site or google buzz or through some kind of reader, this giveaway is still for you! This is what you have to do:
1. Post a comment letting me know you are a reader of my blog. (You can post by choosing "anonymous") -2 entries
2. Comment on this post and let me know which of each of the items you'd like to win. - 2 entries
3. Post a link to this blog post on google buzz, on your facebook status, or twitter (or another place I haven't mentioned) - 2 entries

Please leave a separate comment for each entry as that will make it much easier for me when tallying up the votes. (So for example if you're commenting that you posted about the giveaway, write two comments for me about it, since it is two entries.)

Ah, I'm really excited to be doing this! I've wanted to do a giveaway for a long time and this was the perfect excuse. Alright, so what are you waiting for? It's giveaway time! :D


Can I Get Some Ooh's and Aah's?

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, to see the lovely work of Miss Awel Prince in designing my blog! Isn't it gorgeous?

I just can't get over how perfect it is - the colors are just right (I absolutely love the shades of purple that she chose!), the design is just the way I would have done it (if I knew how), and everything just fits together so perfectly! I am still in awe.

I would highly recommend her blog designs to any one of you who wants a blog makover, a header, or even just a signature. (She makes awesome signatures!) You should definitely check out her design blog if you haven't already done so!

In honor of this, I have a little surprise for you all! I am not going to post about it until tomorrow, but I will leave you with a hint. It has something to do with Acts 20:35b. ;)

Until tomorrow, my blogger friends!

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