Entries Tagged as 'Blog Updates'

Resources for Bloggers



Hi everyone. Happy Monday. how was your weekend? Ours was super busy and productive, we made a trip to Ikea (I got some awesome stuff) and finished painting the living room. I can’t wait to show off our progress. I promise to take some picture and post soon. So today’s post is a little different than normal. I was going to put this just in a page at the top of my blog but I decided to make post out of it. Fair warning, If you’re a blogger or considering becoming one you might want to read this, if not it may cause your eye to glaze over 😉

Blogging Resources


So you want to start a blog or you have one and are looking for ways to grow  or maybe you just are curious how things work. I’ve learned a lot through trial and error about cheap oakley creating and maintaining a blog since I first started. Here’s a list of helpful programs and resources I wish I had when I first started blogging.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use or have heard great things about all of the products listed below and recommend them because they I believe they would helpful to anyone looking to begin or grow a blog, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products.

Hosting options

DreamHost Logo Dreamhost has been our hosting company since starting Our Lake Life. We chose them because they have a really easy set up process for WordPress, very reasonable fees and are recommended by WordPress. They’re great for anyone that wants to start a blog on their own domain easily and economically.Oh and if you sign up be sure to use the coupon code OurLakeLife at checkout to receive $25 off a years subscription!
http://revolucionlapelicula.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/hostgator-logo.gif We’ve also heard great thing about Hostgator. They offer free migration if you currently are hosting your website on another service they’ll complete the entire transfer for you for free. Which is great in my mind. I’m seriously thinking about transferring to them myself. The number of free transfers does vary by host plan thought the smallest plan offer 1 free transfer.Oh and if you sign up be sure to use the coupon code OurLakeLife at checkout to receive 25% off!


Photography Tools

When it comes to photo editing in my opinion nobody does it like Adobe. There’s a reason why it’s the industry standard for photo editing. While the big guys use the full version of Photoshop which can be rather expensive Adobe also makes Photoshop Elements . It’s a paired down version of the pro software and great at editing pictures. I find it more user friendly that the full version and I use it everyday to editing, color correction and resizing images.

Shoot Fly Shoot One of my go-to resources for photography and photoshop tips is ShootFlyShoot. Launched by Kevin and Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage fame this easy to navigate course is great for teaching anyone how to shoot in Manual Mode on their DSLR cameras. What’s really special is that it covers an entire section on interiors, something that has been lacking in other photography courses I’ve seen.

Canon EOS Rebel T4i

Cameras can be expensive, there’s no way around it. I’ve recently update my camera to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i and I love it! It takes much better pictures indoors than my old camera and the touch screen is a great feature to have. I highly recommend it as a good entry level DSLR.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 In addition to a nice camera lenses can really take your photography to the next level. Anyone ever wonder how the photographers get that nice blurry background? It’s all in the lens, The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 is a well priced option, great for low light product shots and takes a really mean portrait.
Photoshop Elements  When it comes to photo editing in my opinion nobody does it like Adobe. There’s a reason why it’s the industry standard for photo editing. While the big guys use the full version of Photoshop which can be rather expensive Adobe also makes Photoshop Elements . It’s a paired down version of the pro software and great at editing pictures. I find it more user friendly that the full version and I use it everyday to editing, color correction and resizing images.

Photoshop Lightroom

When I make my next photograph purchase I plan on buying Photoshop Lightroom . A lot of people ask the difference between the two (so have I). Lightroom is a photo management program and Photoshop is a photo editing program.You can still perform many of the same basic editing tasks, such as crop, clone  and levels adjustments but it also provides a way to organize your photos. Some people even skip buying Photoshop and only use Lightroom

Making Money and Affiliates

Join shareasale.com, Earn Cash!

Share a Sale is an affiliate marketing network that I use to place ads on the sidebars of of the blog. That provides pay per sale and pay per click advertising. What that means is anytime you buy a product from through one of those ad Our Lake Life receives a small commission.
image Google Adsense is another form of advertising we use on Our Lake Life. It provides both pay per view and pay per click advertising. What that means is anytime you click through one of those ads Our Lake Life receives a small commission.

Driving Traffic to Your Blog

Here is a list of the  submission sites I like to use. It can take some time to go through the process of entering a submission or linking up but the traffic you gain from getting a submission accepted can be great! It’s not unheard of to see 1,000 people visit your blog in a day based on a well placed feature on the right page. Here are some of my favorite submission sites in the Home and DIY niche:

Apartment Therapy
Design Sponge
Dwelling Gawker
Craft Gawker

Link parties are also another great way to drive traffic to your blog. I like to participate in a select few that have a proven record of sending traffic my way. Be sure to link up early though, The traffic driven to the 1st link versus the 101st link is dramatic.

Some last thoughts; these are just a few of the things I’ve used and have worked well for me. From now on this post will live in the menu and be available for reference. Periodically I’ll update it and add as I learn and grow. Finally, please remember that I’m no expert here and I’m just sharing the things I’ve found useful and I hope you do to.

New Blog Look



January is all about reorganizing and cleaning out the old to make way for the new. Well around here that extended to the blog. OurLakeLife Screenshot

I dusted off the old blog and updated the look a bit. It’s still a 3 column layout but all of the content is on the left and 2 sidebars live on the right.

New Blog Look

I bought the theme from Blog Milk and loaded it up over the weekend. They have seriously gorgeous blog templates for anyone looking for a fresh new look. I’m still playing around with a few things. The sidebars may change around a bit over the next few weeks as I add some Cheap oakley outlet favorite posts buttons, tweak our logo and maybe add a blog roll.

Does anyone else miss blog rolls? I do! It seems like a lot of blogs no longer have them. I used to find all my best blogs that way.

Well that’s all for me on a Monday. I have a doosey of a story for you tomorrow. Here’s a hint,it involves multiple exploding appliance. Oi!

Welcome to the Blog Hop!



If you’re popping over from the party today thanks for stopping by and getting to know us.


I’m Maria and the owner of this blog and a house by the lake. The hubby is Bryan, he’s my partner in this home owning journey.  Our son Nikolas is 2 1/2 going on 1 2 and keeps us on our toes.

Our Lake Life

Bryan and I bought this good house in a great spot 3 years ago and have been putting our mark on it ever since. We chose this house on the lake for it’s outdoor lifestyle and gorgeous views. During the summer months it’s like being on vacation all the time.We truly love it. Nothing is perfect around here and everything is always a work-in-progress…just the way we like it.


 (Outdoor Bar, Master Bedroom, Living Room, Our Yard)

We both have office day jobs so our home is really where we get to let our our creative side shine. We’ve worked on a ton of projects since moving in and we have a ton more to go. It’s as much about the journey as it is the end result. I don’t think we’ll ever been done because it’s something we both love to do.


(Vintage Nightstand, Reupholstered Chairs, Outdoor Cushions, Planter Boxes)

This blog space of ours is sort of like a DIY Diary along with a healthy amount of Real Life thrown in.

Feel free to take a look around:

  • Our Lake Tours page is where you can check out some of the beautiful sites around our lake.
  • The Projects Page lists all of our DIY projects and makeovers with handy dandy little thumbnails.
  • Our House Tours page is a great way to check out all the progress we’ve made along the way.

Now on to the party.

january 2013 blog hop

Are you ready to network??
Are you prepared to make some new bloggy friends??
Well, here’s your chance!


Mark Your Calendars for the Blog Hop!



It’s Friday, woohoo! I am so ready for this weekend to be here!


This weekend I am so excited to be co-hosting January’s Blog Hop @ LiveLaughRowe.

If you haven’t heard about it, it’s an awesome way gain new readers and give
your blog access to some great people looking to make friends! Hundreds of bloggers maglie calcio poco prezzo link up to meet new bloggers and grow their blogs every month. Last month 280 people joined the hop!

So mark your calendars for Sunday January 20th and come party with us!

Kelly @ Live Laugh Rowe
Kimberly @ A Night Owl Blog
Jaime @ C.R.A.F.T
Jen @ Our Love & Our Blessing
Megan @ Shaping up to be a Mom
Lyuba @ Will Cook for Smiles

Oh, feel free to Pin, Facebook Tweet, Google + or Stumble too. See you Sunday!

What is an RSS Feed?



I’m curious, Do you have trouble keeping up with the sites you read?  How do you all keep up on with the latest posts?

I’m a bit of a blog junkie, but when I first started reading blogs i had no idea what a feed was and I would browse around sometimes bookmarking sites. It wasn’t very efficient and I got tired of missing posts from my favorite sites.

When I finally started using RSS and a feed reader it changed the way I browsed. RSS stands for real simple syndication and it’s basically a simple text version or “feed” of your favorite blog, website or even Facebook posts that are automatically delivered to a program called a feed reader. A feed reader houses all the website feeds you choose to subscribe to in the same spot which are automatically updated for easy browsing.Icons 3 copy

Many websites make is easy for you to to their feed by clicking on an icon. It’s usually an image with two waves emitting from the lower left hand corner. We have a feed icon for Our Lake Life at the top right hand side of the page or you can access it by clicking here.

Google defines “Feeds as a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just Ray Ban outlet visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email.”

Once you click on the icon you’ll see the website’s current feed it’ll ask you to select which feed reader you use or you can choose to get it delivered my email.

Feed Reader

I happen to use Google Reader because, well it’s free, and if you’re already using a Google account then you already have a Reader account super simple. But there are many others options including Yahoo, AOL and Feedemon just to name a few

Google reader

Then you’re all set for easy browsing and automatic updates. Just log into your Reader whenever you’re in the mood for your reading fix and it’s all right there.

Once you’re in you can do things like star special posts you like or write notes and if you get really fancy and have an iPhone, iPad or Driod you can download a number of different apps to make your blog habit even more addicting.

So spill it who uses feeds to keep updated on your favorite blogs? Or do you use some other way to keep track? Let us know in the comments section.

Psst: Don’t forget you can join Our Lake Life’s feed by click on the feed icon at the top right of the blog or by clicking here. Try it, you’ll like it 😉

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