Category: Blogging

Random Thoughts Thursday 154

By , November 2, 2017 6:41 am
  • In a meeting yesterday, we did an activity where everyone wrote their name on a piece of paper, then passed it around the table, and everyone else wrote one positive thing about that person. It was interesting to see what people said about me, since I’ve been in this group less than six weeks! Someone accidentally wrote “well dressed” on mine. Ha ha ha. Ha. Ha.

  • Gmail users, do you have the “undo send” setting turned on? I do. I didn’t realize how much I rely on this feature until recently.  I was using a shared gmail inbox at work and hit send, then wanted to undo the send because I saw a typo. But I couldn’t, because that setting wasn’t turned on for that inbox! I also wanted to undo a send in yahoo mail the other day… I don’t think that’s even an option there. I suppose instead of relying on it I could do a better job proofreading (not just for exclamation points)??!?!
  • Those of you using Garmin Connect – did you see you can add a photo to your workout entries now? I added some, and like how they show up in the mobile app (top of the screenshot below). A while ago, I read that Garmin wants Connect to be more of a social media platform. Adding the photo option must be part of that effort. I think it’s fun.

  • Steven proposed a recurring blog series idea to me this week – “No F*cks Friday,” where I talk about something from my week or something the media is talking about that week, that I don’t give an eff about. Ha ha ha. Oh Steven. Maybe “IDGAF Friday”?

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  • We don’t have cable or antenna at home (we have a ROKU and a few streaming subscriptions) so we get somewhat excited when we are traveling and have a chance to watch network/cable TV. Sad. Anyway. We were planning to watch some TV when we were in Iowa last weekend but we were too busy! And I was all pumped to watch the David S Pumpkins special. Ha ha ha.

Random Thoughts Thursday 153


By , October 31, 2017 12:38 pm

Before I publish each blog post, I reread it several times, in an attempt to catch spelling and grammar errors, and to make sure it’s somewhat coherent (ha) and appropriate. AND to make sure I don’t go overboard with exclamation points.

Because, whoa, I overuse them.

While reviewing, I tend to remove several from each post. I ask “am I really that enthusiastic about that topic?” before leaving one in.

Where I need to get better about reviewing my exclamation point use is blog comments, comment responses here, texting, and emails. I reread work emails several times before sending to make sure if I have one, it’s absolutely appropriate.

But I am not so good with personal emails. And if you’ve ever received any type of correspondence from me, it’s likely been littered with exclamation points. I just want to appear enthusiastic, it seems! I AM EXCITED ABOUT LIFE!!! I am excited to be talking to YOU!!!

You know what Snow’s excited about?! Halloween!

He says “Happy Halloween, and FYI, you can use a pumpkin stem to get to those pesky face itches.”

Twelve Year Blogiversary!!!

By , July 21, 2017 7:07 am

Today is my twelve year blogiversary! Aww, my blog is almost a teenager. Although with how little I post now, it seems my blog is already going through the withdrawn angsty teen years. Ha.

The best thing about blogging is the connections you make, so thank you, readers! And thank you to the many of you that are “real-life” friends now.

And while I am posting less, I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Just waiting for the itch to write more again!

Random Thoughts Thursday 134

By , May 18, 2017 6:23 am
  • It would be inappropriate (and boring) to talk about the stuff at work that makes me nuts, but a lot of times, I make a list of it and imagine posting about it here. Ha. Doing that, along with venting with coworkers, helps!

Awesome picture, right?!

  • More vagueposting – it feels ironic, that as someone who shares personal information on the internet, there are people out there I don’t want knowing mundane information about my life. It’s not because of knowledge reasons, but what they do with the information – hold it against me, overreact, or gossip about it. It’s hard for me to NOT share things, but I know it’s better off in the long run, with certain people. Ugh. (Most of it’s harmless, just annoying. Example – somehow other people have information I only told YOU, that I would have liked to share with them myself.)
  • On to the mundane! Steven and I are always looking for a show to watch during our lunch breaks. We watched Parks and Recreation, then tried to watch Extant, then watched Big Little Lies. Now we’ve decided to rewatch Game of Thrones. We’re catching a lot more watching it the second time, which is fun! Sometimes Khaleesi watches the TV when her namesake is on, which always makes me laugh. I haven’t grabbed a photo of that, but here she is watching The Secret Life of Pets:

  • My parents are visiting in June and this will be their FIRST trip to our “new” home without an entire weekend of labor involved (they’ve been here twice but once was for the move and the other time was to help with the second floor attic work). I am looking forward to them being here with the house put together and having more “free” time… along with a few projects, of course. Ha ha.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 133

Random Thoughts Thursday 133

By , May 11, 2017 7:45 am
  • I forgot to mention in my race report that I like the design on the Wisconsin Marathon/Half/5K shirt this year!

  • We’re having a generator installed in a few weeks! We’re mostly getting it for backup for the sump pumps, but I’m excited about the other things we’ll be able to continue using if the power goes out. Steven did a lot of work a few weeks ago moving the air conditioners (and putting down pea gravel underneath) to get the area ready for the generator!

  • I am loving the sun being up so early (today sunrise was 5:35 am)! Since we’ve been going to bed at a decent hour, some days, I can just let the sun wake me up. Okay, and these two:

  • I think this opinion article – “How I Learned to Shut Up About Running” (pdf here) – is not very well written or easy to follow (so how I read the whole thing I’m not sure) but I really like this statement: “But I’ve also made a realization: a lot of my pushing of others comes from the assumption that what’s good for me will also be good for everyone else, and also from my need to try to regulate or dictate other people’s lives.” YES. THIS. PEOPLE. Quit thinking you are the authority on how other people should live their lives. Gawd, if people would stop doing this, it would solve SO MANY problems. SO MANY.
  • The blogosphere has been dull lately, here included. It’s interesting how a lot of us have stepped back a bit, at the same time. I wonder if the bubble has burst and we’ll all get back to more story telling and connecting (as opposed to product shilling and “how to” lists). One can hope!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 132

Why I say no when you ask me to shill your product

By , April 4, 2017 11:31 am

Bloggers get all sorts of email requests to promote products and events, share links and infographics, and allow guest posts. I say no, 99.9% of the time, and here’s why:

  • You pretend to read my blog, as if linking to a current post and providing a generic comment proves you do
  • You provide a link to a current post as to why I should promote something of yours… that is completely unrelated to that post
  • Or better yet, you find a super old post and ask me to post again on that topic, including your links (sure, makes sense for me to post about weddings…)
  • Or worse, ask me to edit that old post to include your link
  • You pretend to flatter me
  • You ask me to promote things that aren’t close to my home… “we’ll provide a discount code for your readers!”
  • You ask me to promote a product that I clearly wouldn’t use, which is odd you don’t know, since you say you’ve been reading my blog…
  • You ask me to promote a product without offering me one to try
  • You offer me NOTHING (no, I don’t want you to share my content on another platform)
  • You’re rude
  • Your email is full of grammatical errors and/or your email address and links seem super spammy
  • You argue with me that I should do whatever you’re asking me to, because I have before

Most of these things irk me because they point out how insincere the person is. I realize you don’t read my blog. I know you were just doing a google search and found me. That’s fine. I’d rather have you say that, concisely:

I was searching for bloggers that talk about xyz and found your blog! Would you be interested in doing xyz for me? Thanks!

But I am probably still going to say no, because, most importantly:

  • This blog is my voice, not yours
  • I am not desperate for money
  • I am not desperate for content
  • I am not looking to have my content posted elsewhere

All of that being said, I have had some nice opportunities come along because I am a blogger, and have worked with some great people! Not everyone is like this!

And I am still waiting for Asics to sponsor me. HA!!!!!

Also, this does not apply to friends and family asking me to share links and information – I am referring to “companies” (really, random people) contacting me.

Here’s an infographic for ya!

Alright, bloggers, what did I miss?

Random Thoughts Thursday 129

By , March 30, 2017 6:08 am
  • Ha, I started this Random Thought’s Thursday (RRT) draft weeks ago! I miss blogging, but don’t seem to have a lot to say for single topic posts, so RTT posts (and other list posts, like what I have for tomorrow) are perfect for me right meow.
  • The “On This Day”/Facebook Memories thing that pops up showing what I’ve posted sometimes makes me feel crappy because it’s a memory with someone I no longer spend time with. It’s normal and necessary for people to come and go in our lives, but I sometimes feel pained thinking about it. (I feel like this is also a reflection of how little I post on Facebook now, and how much less social I am.) Note, today’s “memory” does not fall in to that category!

  • Another social media comment – I’m surprised how much I like Instagram, and am happy I figured out how to make it work for me. I’m also surprised some of the email requests I get to post random crap (usually infographics or links) here now write “and I saw on your Instagram…” Um, no you didn’t. It’s private. Ha ha. (I’m considering making it public but not sure…)
  • Speaking of email requests to post random crap – I have a draft blog post listing all the things to NOT do in the email if you are trying to get me to post something. But the post is a bit snarky, even for me. So it’ll probably stay in the drafts folder.
  • We’ve been watching Parks and Recreation during lunch break (it’s my first time seeing the show) and I loved the first few seasons, but the last two are just bizzaro!
  • I’m such a grouch until I get my daily workout in. Which is a problem since I usually workout when I get off work at 4:00 pm. Ugh.
  • Look at this cool PR bell they are going to have at the 5K I am doing Saturday! I won’t be going near it, but I think it’s awesome they have it! (I was originally hoping for a course PR, but that won’t happen with how I’ve been training!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 128

Random Thoughts Thursday 110

By , September 29, 2016 6:15 am
  • I did some major adulting this week at work and increased my life insurance coverage (we’re in a rare open season). Why does making these types of decisions always feel so intimidating (and therefore, get put off)?
  • With all the CK talk, Data wants me to remind you that he’s cute, too (even if he forgot his glasses).


  • But if you came here for a CK update, she does let us pet her now! It’s been raining hard here, so we tried to get her to come in the garage last night. She came in for a bit but didn’t stay the night. Baby steps.


  • I mentioned a headboard we got for our guest bedroom but weren’t sure about… well, we ended up setting it up. It grew on us a bit, and we determined we couldn’t afford the ones we like better. The long term plan is to make a new one when we have a workshop set up. My coworker suggested a splash of color (since I refuse to change out the bedspread we just got) – I think that’s a good idea! The room looks a bit muted now.


  • Hey, respect! I used to respond to all of these random emails asking me to promote stuff on my blog with “no thanks” just to be nice. But some of them are so bad I just file them away. And sometimes, they email you again – “did you get my first email? can we work out a deal?” “No, because I don’t promote random sh*t on my blog because someone asked me to… respect.”


  • What is the deal with Amazon Prime lately? If I try to order something Wednesday morning, free two day shipping is NOT a Monday arrival. I decided to buy the thing in person, then we found out we couldn’t, so Steven went to order it last night on Amazon Prime (we share an account) and it said it will arrive this Friday. Huh?! FWP.
  • Not sure who this is from, but I appreciate the nice words when I woke up Tuesday am.


  • And finally, the stormy weather has been so beautiful this week!


Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 109

Eleven Year Blogiversary GIVEAWAY!!!

By , July 21, 2016 6:09 am

This giveaway is closed – thanks for entering!

Thank goodness for my google calendar – otherwise I totally would have forgotten that today is my 11-year blogiversary!

I started in 2005 to keep in touch with my family when I lived in Rome (I lived there spring/summer 2006 – I wanted to practice blogging early, I suppose!). I choose my then-last-name, Ilax, with the word “studio” for the blog title since I was an architecture student at the time.

My blog has changed a bit since then, but it’s still my space for story telling and sharing what’s on my mind. I love documenting what we’re up to and the little things that make me smile. And I’ve met SO MANY friends through blogging. So. Many. It’s amazing. Thank you for reading!!!

As a thank you, I have a little giveaway! You can enter to win ONE of the items below!


#1 Starbucks You Are Here Alaska Mug (seen above)
#2 $10 Starbucks Giftcard
#3 $10 iTunes Giftcard

Eleven Year  Blogiversary GIVEAWAY!!! Rules

  1. Three individual readers will receive a prize. Which prize received will be determined by YOU (see rule #2).
  2. REQUIRED to enter the giveaway: leave a comment telling me you want to enter, and which prize you’d like (pick one). 
  3. This giveaway is open until 12:00 PM CST on Sunday July 24. I will announce the winners on Sunday July 24 (in the training recap post).
  4. will pick the three winners.
  5. This giveaway is open to all readers, in all locations.

NOTE: I am paying for all of these items, and shipping, myself.

Also, note, the boys wanted to be in the mug photo:


Thanks again for reading, and commenting!

Random Thoughts Thursday 102

By , June 9, 2016 6:07 am
  • My chest and arm muscles have been so sore lately. But not from anything I am doing on purpose. It’s all from functional training – yard work!



  • Steven has been wanting to try Red Robin takeout, and I kept telling him that defeats the point of their bottomless fry offer – you can’t ask for more once you get home! Ha ha. We ordered it once in April and didn’t get many fries (NOT the end of the world – we were plenty full), but Steven ordered it this week and told them he didn’t get many fries last time, so they sent him home with all this awesomeness. Ha. We had LOTS of extra fries. Fries for days.



  • My dad heard through the grapevine that there was an accident on the bike trail where we wiped out – a friend of his mom’s saw an ambulance and gurney there! And now they’ve put up cones and signs. I hope no one else wipes out there!
  • My website is running really slow and I don’t know how to fix it. Eek! Sorry if you’re dealing with it on your end! I always assume it my pos host messing things up, but maybe it’s actually on the wordpress side this time. Which means I probably won’t take the time to figure it out. Which means bye bye blog. Update: the tech guy I talked to today actually told me the truth – there is a slowness issue on the host’s end. 
  • I am not a yoga person, but I would definitely try this kind of  yoga – kitten yoga (pdf here)! Aww! I saw this on Facebook because a college friend of mine is actually in the article! I wonder if there is something like this in Chicago.
  • Today is my mom’s birthday! I snuck a special surprise in her birthday gift. Muah ha ha. She found it right away.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 101

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