Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Moon 14: Days 11 to 15

The August Moon project by Kat Mcnally has come to an end. I will miss the daily prompts!

In a true "Happysnappy" way, let me answer the last prompts with photographs. :)

Day 11: What is the perfect space for you?

Home
Our house was a love at first sight. I couldn´t believe someone would actually sell this beauty. I don´t usually buy/ask for things for myself but this one was: "I-want-that-house" No matter if we had to eat rice for the following ten years. It was meant to be mine. My home.

Btw, it didn´t look that way when we bought it. The cheerful yellow was my idea. :D The white doors my husband´s. We are a good team.

Day 12: What do people thank you for?

I am a born cheerleader. :D

A couple of examples from the past two months.





Day 13: What are the stories that limit you?

This one's a downer, I know. I'm sorry.  But it seems that we all have these stories. 
Is it ok with you if I keep this one private? Yes? Thanks my dear. :)

Day 14: How will you start the journey?

In the past few years I´ve discovered my crash and burn creative cycle. I start by having an efervescent idea which grows and grows and branches out. Suddenly I stop and have this "deer in the headlights" look, paralized by the sheer hughness of the tasks ahead. Then run around like a headless chicken and finally bow my head and get the job done. 
I always start by a written out map which I turn into lists:
which I schedule in my planners: 


Day 15: What if there was no need to wait until you're "perfectly formed"?

In that case I will tell you my website will be launching on my 9th bloggaversary: September 21st.
There, I´ve said it. Now off to work on it! :D

Kat will be giving writing prompts again in December for #reverb14. I will take part in that one too. For now go visit her at I saw you dancing. Thank you Kat! :)

As I told you in #12 I´m a born cheerleader and I want to cheer YOU on, so What if there was no need to wait until you're "perfectly formed"? What is that project you hold dear but haven´t shown the world yet?


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Friday, August 22, 2014

Fall in love with life

Some months ago I was lucky enough to get some wonderful coaching sessions with Donna from Donna on the Beach through Skype. We got along like a house on fire. She is so much fun and yet to the point with an acute eye to see where things are not working for you.

I cheered her along while she wrote her newest e-book and now it is finally ready to launch I asked her to share one chapter of her choosing with my readers.

This is what she wrote back:

Hey Paula!

So, thanks to our conversation on Facebook, this post sprang to mind - "You're allowed to change your mind"  I can explain why I think this one would fit with your blog - you're multi-passionate; your blog has been finding it's place in the world, and it's ok to change your mind along the way about what it and you are about!





You’re allowed to change your mind

One of my friends has always had a hard time with me being ‘such a flake’ – every time we spoke I had a new hare-brained idea, a new passion, a new obsession.  I moved from accountancy to IT, I ran off to Australia for a year, I started a journalism course (I sucked), I decided to study massage therapy, I was enthused by coaching…there was always some new thing that caught my butterfly-like attention.

And he felt this was a bad thing.  That I should pick something and stick to it.  Uh-huh.  That was never going to happen…so instead we kept having conversations where he would say ‘so, how’s x going?’ and I’d be like ‘oh my god, that’s so last week dahling’!  And his eye would start to twitch and I’d get a lecture about sticking to something.

Actually, I wasn’t quite that flaky…and I’d only say ‘that’s so last week’ if I was being sarcastic.  But it is a fair distillation of 30 conversations over 4 years or so.  I wasn’t deliberately trying to be flaky though.  I was trying to find my place in the world.  And I made some mistakes.  The accountancy course?  Can still render me comatose with boredom just thinking about the “management information module”.  SNORE!

If I had followed said friend’s advice, I would still be stuck on the management information module, trying to think of a better answer to the question ‘why do managers need information’ than ‘because they don’t know’ (seems blindingly obvious to me, but in that course you needed to write 1000’s of words about it!?)

But here’s the truth of the matter:  I changed my mind about accountancy.  I also changed my mind about journalism, IT and a host of other random ideas I tried.  I’m allowed to change my mind.  I’ve changed my mind a million times about a million things.  And I know I’ve said it a lot, but this is your life – you’re allowed to make decisions about it.  Even if that involves changing your mind.

Even if it means dealing with the consequences of dropping out, leaving a relationship or changing careers.  This seems like a good point to make a distinction:  there’s a difference between changing your mind because it’s what’s right for you and your life, and just changing your mind on a whim.  Impulsive and irrational behaviour isn’t what I’m talking about here.

This is about the deep knowing in your heart that this is the right thing for you.  It might look like impulsive and irrational behaviour to other people, but as long as you have the courage of your convictions, their opinions are irrelevant.  I do not regret stopping the accountancy course, no matter how good a job it would have led to, no matter how exasperated my colleagues and certain friends were with me, because I knew it was right.

You need to be able to change your mind.  Without that, you end up in a loveless marriage for 10 years before you can escape, or a job that stifles your soul, or doing a course for 4 years that makes you want to weep in bored frustration.  Yes, yes, the ability to follow an idea through to completion is good, and if you are one of those lucky folk who knows from the age of 15 what you wish to do with the next 80 years of your life, good for you.  I’m not disputing that keeping your word is good, or following a thing through to completion (I’m finishing this book, am I not?)

But it is also a good thing to be flexible, to change your mind when you realise that actually you don’t want that bloke/job/career.  It’s a good thing to know your own mind – it shows strength and decisiveness and confidence (even if some people mistake it for weakness).  You’re allowed to change your mind…and you will, many times in your life.

I no longer think that Duran Duran are the best band in the world.  I no longer believe that the boy I fancied when I was 13 is the hottest guy alive.  I changed my mind.  And I’m glad I did.  Because I want to live my life on what’s right for me now, not on decisions I made when I didn’t know better.  If you think about it, nor do you.


Donna, better known as "Donnaonthebeach" helps women who KNOW there is more to life, to fall in love with their lives and make their Dreams a Reality along the way.  If you enjoyed this article today on my blog, Donna has a gift just for you. Make sure you go to her site Donna on the beach @ http://www.donnaonthebeach.com to get a free copy of Donna’s new book “Fall In Love With Life”.

Have you changed your mind about something BIG? How did it turn out?



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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August Moon 2014: Days 4 to 10

Last week I answered prompts from Day 1 to 3 of the August Moon project by Kat Mcnally.
Now it´s time for the following block: Days 4 to 10

Day 4: What's hiding in your closet?

Lol. I was surprised by the prompt too until I read further. "Take a stroll over to your wardrobe and have a look." Oh, whew! Safe. ;) There were all kinds of questions about my clothes. I like bright solid colours.


All the flowery pinks are my daughter´s and the blues for the boys of the house

Day 5: What would your perfect work day be like?

Thanks for the guide Kat! All the questions are helping me in getting it clearer. Still haven´t completed this prompt. 

Day 6: What are the signs that you are on fire? 

One of my favourite quotes is attributed to Arnold H. Glasow :
Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.
I feel the fire when I get projects off the ground, like the daily #photoprompts in Twitter and my Facebook page.

Day 7: What tends to trip you up?

What was your first gut reaction? Yes, fear is always present. For me it is feeling I don´t have "enough" credentials to do things. I´m old enough to already have a body of work to show you who I am and what I do and yet there is that nagging feeling in the background.
This year I found a poem by Ray Bradbury which has been my compass in the past few months: 




Day 8: Manifesting. Put out the call!

Who could help you in manifesting your dream life? Maybe you already know them. Maybe you don´t.

Some cool synchronicities happened in my life these past weeks. 
Example #1: Donna is a creative coach. We had some sessions a few months ago and she was the one to tell me:
She is launching her new e-book "Falling in love with life" and she will be my guest next Friday. I asked her to share one of the chapters of her book with you and she chose ... "You're allowed to change your mind". Lol. Not only I´ve been changing my mind about projects but I did it once again after reading the chapter she sent me. Perfect timing.

Example #2: to make a long story short I was chickening out on leading an "Artist´s Way" workshop in Spanish with a long list of excuses. A friend called me on them and became my first paying customer. I still don´t have a website and I already have sales! I was more ready for this than I gave myself credit for.

Example #3: I bought my own domain for the blog and chose a theme. When I downloaded it I discovered that it came "naked". The learning curve ahead of me was looking sooooo steep. I knew I needed help. I wanted a female webdesigner who could "get" me. If possible someone I already knew. A friendly face with solid knowledge. That is when a help offer came in the mail. Ana from Our blended marriage is now helping me out with the website.    

Day 9: How could you a cultivate a life that reflects all that you truly are?

I´m making a map of the parts that make me "me".

Day 10: How will you make time work for you?

Marie Folerleo has just published How to change the world and still have time for friends. These steps could be adapted to a lot of situations, family, fitness, finances and even faith.

Did any of these questions resonate with you? Did you recognize patterns?

Remember to come back next Friday for Donna´s chapter of her new e-book!


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Setting my intention for August Moon

August Moon is a reflective writing challenge that creates space for you to reflect on the things that have led you here and consider ways to manifest a truly magnificent send-off for the year.

I¨ve known Kat from "I saw you dancing" for a long while. We "get" each other. :) I´ve participated in many of her writing challenges and even been a guest blogger for one. 

She says that this year, August Moon is all about crossroads. And there it is that I am standing at the moment. I´ve blogged for almost 9 years here at Happysnappy and I´m moving on to a new place. I´ve also decided to give a Spanish blog a second try (it didn´t work out the first time around).

Day 1: setting the intention

For a full week (we´ll see if I take it over to the second one or change) I am going to "follow my intuition".
Let´s say this is an experiment. I have some strong pulls but sometimes I doubt them. Afterwards I think that following the first impulse would have been better. From little things like choosing a line at the supermarket check out to big things like launching a new website.

Day 2: what you love

My family of four (seen here as a desktop image)
Mountains and waterfalls
My Sony Vaio laptop
Folders, notepads and everything paper 
Pens, markers and all kinds of pretty colours
Owls
Stamps
Digital photos
My Samsung S4 that takes decent pictures ;)

Day 3: what you are doing right now

Today is my half birthday. I´ve been waiting for this day for some time as I like to do things on "significant" dates. I´m going  to buy my own dot com domain for a self hosted WP based blog. 

I´m working with web designer Ana Lynn Amelio from Our blended marriage on the setting up of my new place. I´ve been reading her WordPress posts and learning a lot of techie steps from her. She has a clear, practical style that even a WP newbie like myself can understand. 

On the other hand, if you are planning on moving from Blogger to WordPress and would rather a pro handled that, you can contact her for that too.

That is it for #augustmoon14 so far.
If you want to receive Kat´s daily writing prompts until August 25th you can read more and suscribe here

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

My month in numbers for July 2014

July was all about the pictures. Not surprising from someone who calls her blog "Happysnappy". ;)

For July 2014´s update and goals check in I´m doing {My month in numbers}. It is a project taking place at Julie Kirk´s blog  where you sum up your month with numbers. Here are some inspirational instructions on how to go about it. This is my 28th consecutive participation.

I´m keeping 220 photos and 3 videos for the month. It was my girl´s birthday and that event got a lot of camera attention. :D Here are my favourites from each day. Click on the mosaic to see it bigger.

I followed 09/31 of the #photoprompts for June plus 7 Plan B takes:  Find August´s prompts here in this note on my Facebook page (note available only during August 2014)!

For daily reminders of the #photoprompts Like my Facebook Page here or Follow me on Twitter here.

News of the month:
My girl´s 15th birthday party

"On line" goals:
In July my Paula - Buenos Aires Facebook page grew by 78 followers. I´m hoping for the 900 followers milestone next. Suddenly the "crazy" goal for 2014 of 1000 looks doable. My Twitter account for which I didn´t set goals is growing too. 268 persons are following @PBAtweets.

Btw: everyday at 6pm my time I post a #photoprompt for the next day. Takes off the pressure of thinking what to photograph for your 365 projects, gives you a conversation starter and once you start looking for things you actually SEE more.

Plus I wrote 4 Wednesdays posts and had 1 guest blogger:
+ My June´s numbers.
+ How to plan a party using Pinterest
+ Something I found on Pinterest that I actually made
+ A step by step tutorial on using jars for souvenirs
+ First steps on setting up Pinterest by China Rodriguez 


Remember I got invited to be part of the board of the International Bloggers Association? Well I was promoted to VP of our G+ community which you can join here AND I´m also in charge of the G+  sharing network. It is brand new, come and make your voice heard.

I was invited to cohost linky parties:
+ 4 #ilocesocialsaturday
+ 4 Ultimate Facebook parties
That many linky parties I´ve been doing had been overwhelming for my Happysnappy blog so I moved them to their own site: Nice to meet you


My "hobbies" goals for this year include:
60 layouts (0 so far), 12 fiction books ( 0 in June, 5 total), 6 non fiction ( 0 for June, 3 in total ) and 6 rereadings (1 ! Finally!!!).

My "go out" goals for 2014:
From the 6 new places to eat: this month, that is 2 total  ,  0 craft fairs in June ( 6 total),1 animé exhibitions ( 3 out of total Yay! ) and  from the 3 new Museums the count is still at 1 art exhibit in Jan. and now 1 revisit.
(
Rowing club in Tigre


Navy museum

Do you keep track of your goals on a regular basis?



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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

First steps in Pinterest by China Rodriguez

This month has been all about Pinterest for me. I tested (and showed you) how to plan a party with Pinterest´s help, and I actually made something I had liked and pinned! To contribute to your inspiration I pinned something I made too.


Knowing I still have a way to go in the learning curve I contacted social media expert China Rodriguez for some tips on how to use Pinterest in an effective way.

She has such a clear way to guide you through the steps! Read on. She´ll show you the way.
Imagen: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/271975264971543749/
Pinterest has captivated our attention.

This social network was born back in 2010 so the users could upload, organize and share images and videos, known as "pins" to collections called "boards". Each user can follow other users boards or just one of them, depending on their interest and share or repin the pins he/she likes the most.

As you know, when a social network gets some thousands of users ( Pinterest has over 70 million users, about 130 thousand from Argentina), big brands ask themselves what to do to get the attention of all those people who spend hours looking at images.

The entrepreneurs ask themselves the same! Let´s start by knowing some things that it will make it easier to use Pinterest.

1- 
The essential is invisible to the eyes: The most popular themes in Pinterest are food, drinks, DIY and fashion. Many designers, photographers and illustrators use this social network to share their work. If images are an important communication tool for you, Pinterest can be your ally.

2- The female audience: Did you know that over 80% of Pinterest users are women? Also, 81% of users are between 25 and 54 years old and 50% have kids. If your business targets the female audience, you will find a great amount of those women that might like what you have to sell on Pinterest.

3- I plan, therefore I exist: Before we launch ourselves to add another tool to our already busy life, let´s think what we will use it for. A good use for it is to show our brand´s personality through the boards. We can´t just show our products, we need to show something more. The boards are ideal to show our essence, what we like, what represents us. And that generates empathy with our potential customers.

If Pinterest is right for you and your brand we can go into some technical detail:

1- Create a business profile: just like Facebook, Pinterest makes a difference between personal and business profiles. In some countries you have the chance to promote pins, include prices and locations and other specific features. Those aren´t available worldwide yet.
2- Complete the information: These are the points you need to check in your Pinterest profile:

a. Profile picture: as always, it is the way our followers identify us in a quick way. It is ideal to use the same picture on all our social media profiles. you can use your company´s logo too. Pinterest recommends a 660x600 pixels size for the picture.

b. Username: this is going to be our url on Pinterest. It is best if you use the same username on all your social media profiles as well. Keep your brand image consistent.

c. About you: this is your business description. No links are allowed here at the moment. Use this field for your business keywords.
3- Build your first board: I´m sure that while you were planning what to use Pinterest for, you were already thinking about what to share. That is the content of your boards. Each board has a description and in there we can use keywords and hashtags. With those our followers may choose in a quick way what they want to follow. Another key element is the board title image. A visual tool to communicate what is inside each board.

If you click on a board you can move it around to organize them the way you like them. Choose your products board to be in the first place to gain more visibility.

4- Pin from your web and complete the description: Pinterest allows us to upload pins from the web or our computer. Upload your pins from your own website. Why? Because each pin is a link back! That way each pin is a potential visit to our website. In the description of your pin, include keywords and hashtags to be found by the users who are searching for those.

5- Be consistent: Some weeks you may sit on a Sunday, pin a hundred things and then go MIA the rest of the week. That is a mistake. Pin at a regular rythm to be more effective. It is valid to pin a lot at once when you are telling a special story or are showing a special theme. Even then a regular schedule works best. If you want to upload a lot at a time, you may do so to a secret board and then make pins visible in a regular manner. 

Now you are ready to go pin! 

Thanks for all the advice China!Isn´t she lovely? If you want to see more of her work (in Spanish) this is where you can find China on the web:

Website: La nube de tips
Facebook page: China Rodriguez
Twitter (in Spanish): China Rodriguez
Pinterest: China Rodriguez

Do you have a Pinterest account? Did you give it some thought as a tool? Have you planned your boards?


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thirty souvenirs aka I´ll do something with that ... eventually

Tatiana´s Asian style 15th birthday party was a learning experience. First we went through a tutorial to learn how to keep your ideas organized in Pinterest boards. Then we spoke about actually making a Pinterest project for the decoration and now we´ll see how to present the party favours in a cute way with a twist of fun.
Tati was born in the year of the cat, so she chose little porcelain cats with symbols of good health and prosperity. There were four different models.
As a dash of oriental with a twist of fun we added one fortune cookie with each cat.
I needed to make thirty party favours to distribute among family and friends. I had been collecting jam jars for a while "to do something with them". Their chance to get showcased arrived. Always remember to cover your working surface when paints or glues are involved!
After the first two layers ofcolour I noticed something was NOT working. The bubblegum pink paint just slid around the jam jar lid. It had no staying power and the green that looked fine at first looked thin when dry, letting the original dark blue go through. Time to stop, wash all the paint from 30 lids and start again with white acrylic base. After three layers of white base and three layers of colour it looked good enough. Two more layers of sealer and we were good to go on.
My mom helped at this point, folding silk paper rectangles that I had cut in coordinating colours.
On each folded paper I placed a cat and a fortune cookies and put all in a jar, so you couldn´t really see what was inside.
The jars were a teaser during the whole party as they were on the kitchen table with the snacks. 
Which is the best party favor you ever got? Do you still have it?


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