Saturday 23 March 2013

Blog housekeeping and some quicklinks

Every now and again I like to note a little blog housekeeping that has been underway.  You know how if you didn't tell everyone that you had vacuumed no one would notice!  Well I think blog housekeeping is the same.  Yet it helps to make these notes to keep track of the development on the blog.  Plus I will share a few quicklinks that have made me think and laugh.

Housekeeping - recent blog changes:

- In December I started a monthly reminder of key dates on my sidebar.  I have been thinking about it for a while and even have a draft post on the calendar.  I am still swithering over whether to post it.  I probably will do so one day.  The sidebar reminders is another way to help people navigate my blog.

- Another change on my sidebar is that I have reinstated a blog list (or blogroll).  As a newbie blogger I had a sidebar list of blogs.  It got too long and I moved it to my Blogroll page.  Sadly that page doesn't get updated as much as it should and Blogger has now introduced a sidebar blogroll that feeds through the latest post from each blog.  I am quite enjoying browsing it for updates.

- I spent a bit of time adding photos to my Recipe Index after getting all inspired by Poires au Chocolat's index.  It was quite fun sourcing the pictures - reminded me of how many good recipes are on my blog but also how many bad photos I have uploaded.  When I have more energy I might even fix the photos in the index so they are bigger and prouder.  For now I think it helps to illustrate the index.

- Occasionally I add a new category to the Recipe Index.  This week it was (South East) Asian Stirfries, Curries etc.

- Less of a blog change and more of a blogging change is the news that Google Reader is soon to disappear.  I really need to think about this one and how it will change my ways of reading blogs.  I will write more about this soon.

Housekeeping - blog wishlist:

- As always, I have many plans for my blog that would be done in an instant if only I had a bit more time.  Top of the list is to create drop down menus, using Kari's tutorial.

- I would also love to add Notes on Variations for each recipe.  I love how Cates Cates and stonesoup do this.  Unfortunately I just don't have time but may do it from time to time where particularly useful.

- The problem with being so many years into a blog is that there is so much history to change if I want to make major changes.  Every now and again I think maybe I would like to clean up my Keywords in the sidebar.  They really need work to craft them into a list that isn't too long but is representative.  Every time I consider it I get overwhelmed at all the posts I would need to change the keywords for.. 

- I have been using picmonkey quite a bit to make collages.  However I am most displeased with the site for drawing me in with their free service and started to charge for some of the things (like cloning) that previously I was able to use for free.  I miss Picnik, my previously online photo editing software that has gone to Google.  I am still in search of a photo software editor to love.  Perhaps I will need to bite the bullet and buy Photoshop!

- I have recently bought a smartphone with a far better camera than my last phone.  I had a ride on my bike today and was pleased to have the smartphone camera with me as I don't like to take my heavy DSLR with me while cycling.  Now I just need to work out downloading pictures to my computer.

Though I have included it in my Kudos page, I have been remiss in mentioning in a post that I was listed in the Top 50 Vegetarian Blogs 2012 on the Institute for the Psychology of Eating website.  It is most appreciated!
Quicklinks to make you think and make you laugh:

Some are related to blogging, cooking and the internet.  Great food for thought:

And in case this post has been too dull, here are a few links (mostly Youtube videos) to make you laugh:


  1. I've been using feedly and bloglovin for blog reading to get used to the change...not sure which one I like best yet though

    1. Thanks Joanne - will have to look at some alternatives so thanks for sharing your ones

  2. The list of dates is really useful Johanna, I do like that. I have tried to thin down what I have on my sidebar a bit, but there is still a lot there and yes it does take time to make these changes when you have been bloggin as long as we have. Your blog is always a joy to visit x

    1. Thanks Jac - It is a balance trying to get good info in the sidebar without overcrowding it! I always love your photos on your side bar but never got around to doing that - thanks for your kind words

  3. I just want to index all my recipes... I feel like someone could easily make some sort of program to make a list based off of my tagged keywords, but alas... until then I will keep up making lists to similar recipes. ;)

    Btw, if it helps, I am using feedly instead of google reader. I still prefer google reader, though. And for a free picture editor, I use picasa. :)

    1. Thanks Janet - Jac (Tinned Tomatoes) had instructions for doing an automated index for Blogger but I think you are on Wordpress. I started my recipe index about a year in and it took me a while to do it but I am glad I did because I think I couldn't face it now.

      Will have to look at feedly. I use picmonkey because I don't need to login where I thought I had to login with picasa but might look at it

    2. Yeah, the nasty wordpress.. oh well, the index will wait. I downloaded picasa so I just use it on my computer. Easy, peasy, especially since I don't need to do many changes after their suggestions. :)

  4. Hi Johanna!

    What a fun post. Well, perhaps not as much fun for you since you're doing all the work, lol...And what a wonderful job you're doing at that! Love the side-bar dates. I must say, I'm curious as to that calendar you mention. It seems I've been wanting to do a monthly calendar of food days for as long as I can remember. It just never seems to layout the way I like.

    Your blog has progressed so nicely through the years. I even remember when you changed backgrounds!!!

    I really miss blogging so much. Since I've been "free" from blogging the last 6 months, yes 6 months without a post, I have been doing some back cleaning. Updating photos and skimming down wordy posts. I don't know why though because no one is ever really go to see them, lol...

    I've used picmonkey to "play" with a couple of times. I didn't know about the changes. I've taken an interest in infographics lately so I've been bookmarking a lot of images and graphics tools. Here's one that I stumbled across. It's called Free Online Image Editors ( Let me know what you think.

    Your blog looks fabulous and all your work does show. I must make it a point to let you and others know when I notice these things:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...

    P.S. I'm thinking about returning to the blogosphere come April but don't tell anyone because I'm still trying to figure out whether I will have the time:) Take care, Louise

    1. Thanks Louise - lovely to hear from you and to have your positive feedback - miss your blogging but still check out stuff there occasionally - sadly my calendar is no fancy work but you do make me wonder what could be done - and I don't have the wealth of calender days that you have on your blog. Will be excited to hear about your return to blogging plans in April

  5. Congratulations on that award Johanna! That is one you should definitely be very proud of :) And I love this post, along with your previous ones of a similar nature. I like your new recipes picture and have been noticing and enjoying your side bar content - the things for different food events are great.

    I also like the way of listing blogs I follow with details of their last post, and am also devastated about Google Reader. Mr B is even more so! I'm still refusing to believe it will happen but he tells me I'm being unrealistically optimistic...

    1. Thanks Kari - I quite like a bit of bloggy navel gazing but I worry it is not for everyone so glad you enjoy these posts! I heard from ricki about this last year in a comment so I have had time to come to grips with the Google REader news and am coming to feel it is inevitable that these online software packages change and develop - have had it happen to me too many times already that I am not as devastated as I might have once been


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