Friday, December 30, 2011

Post-Holiday Swap

Is it really almost January already? Wow. This month has flown by. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year! Here are a couple pics from my family's Christmas this year. This was probably one of our best Christmases ever. The kids enjoyed their presents and their time with their grandparents.
my hubs & kiddos on a very warm night in Georgia
Grammy and my kids
So what did you get for Christmas? I got the immersion blender I'd been dropping hints about ;) and I made a photo collage of our family for my hubs - which he loved. (score!) My mom also gave me some vintage film SLR cameras that had been my grandpa's - I can not tell you how excited I am to play with my new babies this week!

Post holiday swap

Some of the presents the fam got were awesome - one was a little less so. The Smurfs DVD. Oh my goodness! My kids quoted this move for days after they watched it. Drives me crazy. This DVD is in perfect condition we only watched it once - it has a digital copy download that we haven't used, it also has a BluRay and will work on a 3D TV but it also works on any other regular TV and DVD player. I'll post a photo of it as soon as my smart phone stops spazzing out. 

Remember you can post anything for swap - digital as well as physical goods. Y'all amaze me with your creativity! So be sure to post!! Next week check back for an AMAZING giveaway hosted here and sponsored by half a dozen of my blog design friends. You won't want to miss it.

Be sure to grab a button for your blog post.

And have you checked out the Wanted Ads from the last swap?! There are some great swaps just waiting to happen!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I love this link-up and I invited one of our newest readers to share some of her favorite seasonal inspirations...


Hi, I am Libby from Libby's Life. I love Pinterest and I love Christmas so I thought why not do a Christmas themed day! :) You can find me on Pinterest here and Twitter here Feel free to come by and visit. Oh and to find me on my blog click on my button at the bottom of this post!
Source: via Libby on Pinterest

Libby's Life 
Libby Signature

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Follower Feature: Lily Garay

I'm Lily Garay. Singer/Speaker/Writer/Lover♥of♥Life.

I also create ad buttons, logos, html codes, and edit photos.
I don't sell my services. I barter them:)
You can check it out:

You can also check out the blog that I just write on for fun.
Showing you pictures of my life, funny/quirky little things, and truth.

Today, not only am I here to offer you my services, but to inspire you!
On Sunday my dad was giving advice {Love you daddy} 
and he said this: 

"To be successful at something, concentrate on it and put all your focus on it."

He also says:
"Always finish what you start."

Wise wise wise daddy:) 
He shared it with my church and now I am sharing it with you because it is just
that awesome! 
Have a BeaUtiFuL day:)
Be sure to stop by my blogs and say Hi!

Want to be featured next? Let me know! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Blog Tip of the week: how to adjust your blog width & background

Today I pulled the plug. I erased all of the style code from my main blog and set my template back to square one.

Why? Mostly, just for fun.

I love blogging about blogging and this site re-design is a perfect opportunity to do just that. Also I genuinely want input and constructive criticism of my design choices. If you disagree with something I've done or written go ahead and comment! I promise, I'll love you for it.

So today I'm thinking about the big picture: width & background.

I think the style and content of your blog is going to at least partly determine the best width of your blog. A blog that is primarily words should be narrower than the blog that is mostly images. Your photography blog should ideally be big enough to use extra large images. While I was messing in the back-end of blogger I noticed that it's super-easy to change the width of your blog now.

Go to your blog's home screen click on the little down-arrow circled in the image below

Click "Template"

Click "Customize"

Click "Adjust Widths"

Type in the width of your blog or use the slider to adjust the width. The max size is 1500 - on my screen this causes the right edge of the blog to bleed off the edge of the screen.


Having a nice neutral background for your photography blog is also important. Neutral doesn't have to equal boring. I found some nice chevron stripes at Tiny Sea and I downloaded my canvas textures from Fuzzimo. I've seen subtle patterns work really nice.

To change the background of your blog click on the background tab, pick one of the backgrounds from blogger or upload your own. To do that

I'm a big fan of simple backgrounds for photography blogs, but journals are an entirely different set of design ideals. Shabby Blogs was one of the first places I downloaded a pre-made background from. There are a lot of choices for pretty much any type of blog. There are also some nice pre-made backgrounds that would work well for photography blogs.

So there you go! Now you know how to change your blog's width & background!! What else would you like to learn how to do?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wanted: SWAP

So today I thought we'd shake things up a little.

Instead of linking up what we have to offer, I thought we could link up with what we want!

Do you need help with the design of your blog?

Need a button/badge made?

Do you need editing for your family photo?

Do you want participants for an upcoming series of blog posts?

Are you looking for places to promote your product site or services?

Do you want advice on what to get for your extremely hard to buy for hubby ;) it couldn't hurt to ask, right?

You  can list pretty much anything (anything legal, of course!)

The linky code has an unlimited number of characters allowed so don't feel like you only have to list just one thing. You can link to the home page of your blog, or to a previous swap post, just so long as there is a means of communication listed somewhere!

If you notice someone wants something you have please contact them and initiate a swap. When initiating a swap be sure to mention what you'd like to swap for!

Below the the "wanted" section of links is a place to link up for ad swaps. I'll be working on rotating my ads today but there is always room for more!

Like this idea? Please use the share buttons below to post this via twitter, facebook and google+

Pre-Holiday Swap Re-Cap & BB card winner!

A big huge thank you to everyone who co-hosted, participated, tweeted and re-tweeted as part of the Pre-Holiday Swap! To read about upcoming events click here. Thank you to Melissa, Jodi Mandey & Jessica especially for co-hosting the swap.

The winner of the Bath and Body Works card is:

Branson of My Reflection of Something re-designed the blog header for Mom Tried It & Libby's Life and she's working on a design for Finding My Way In Texas

Mom Tried ItMy Reflection of SomethingLibby's Life

I am especially impressed with how this adventure in swapping is going digital! Y'all are expanding this site in ways that I hadn't even thought of! You're swapping guest-posts, giveaways, sponsors, appearances in what-to-wear posts and that's just what I've thought of off of the top of my head! YOU are the Bartering Blogger. I'm just the mama behind the scenes providing the forum for you to create and re-create what we are going to be.

There will be another swap TOMORROW - it will be a "want swap" so be sure to drop by the blog and link up your blog/twitter with what you want! That should be fun. So if you want help with your blog design - post it! If you want more sponsor swappers for December/January - post it! Need someone to edit your totally craptastic attempt at a Holiday Family Photo? Say so! If you need a coat for your kiddo, or want a pretty dress for your holiday gathering why not let us know? Maybe somebody has something you want and didn't think to post it in last week's link-up!

Anyone who would like to help out with The Bartering Blogger is more than welcome! Please let me know how you'd like to help. The #1 thing you can do is participate. The more people who participate the more fun it is. The #2 thing you can do is follow The Bartering Blogger on Twitter and re-tweet when there is a swap. That's a super-great way to get the word out about the swapping events. #3 I'm in constant need of guest bloggers. My suggestions for topics: introducing me, seasonal inspiration, blogging tips. I would also love to have someone help me curate the Giveaways section of The Bartering Blogger. That really and truly needs some beefing up. If you have an idea or suggestion let me hear it!

Thanks to everyone who will be ad-swapping and guest-posting with the Bartering Blogger!! If I haven't emailed you yet - I will!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Meet the Neighbors

Thanks so much to Michelle for being an awesome friend and for putting these Meet The Neighbors posts together for me all month long. If you would like to help out with Bartering Blogger let me know! There's LOTS to do :)

SO here you go! If you'd like to do a sponsor swap for December please link up in this week's swap linky!

Meet Christa @ christa.jae

Want to see more, click: Homework Assignment Turned Photo Date

Meet Kimberly @ Lush Lounge
Day 329 ~ Thursday November 24, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving!

Want to read more, click: Project 365 - Nov.24

Meet Amanda @ Pretty Little Life

Alright, so last weekend I said that I would let you all in on our surprise Christmas Cards. Well, I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone who will be getting a card in the mail from us this this will be more of a sneak peek than a huge reveal. Deal?

I'm normally a pretty serious person.....I'm a little shy, modest, and reserved. 
I would like to be funny, but really the only way that I make other people laugh is when 
I have a "blond moment" (which happens more often than I'd like, actually). 

So I thought I'd try to lighten things up this year with our Christmas Cards.......I present to you:
Want to read more, click: Christmas Card Surprise

Facebook  // twitter


This morning I woke up to a light dusting of SNOW on my front lawn!  I love the look of a fresh covering of snow glistening in the sunlight, like millions of diamonds.

It reminded me that Christmas is only one month away!

I love Christmas so much!

It’s definitely my favorite holiday and even more so now that Cohen is in our lives.  This will be his first Christmas.  I think his eyes may be this bright and sparkly on Christmas morning…
Want to read more, click: 10 Holiday Planning Tips 
Facebook // twitter  

Meet Tara @ Sew Tara

I was really on the ball and packaged up my scrap swap packages quick and even ran off to the post office instead of leaving them in the car for days. Then on the weekend I popped over to my friend Tabatha‘s house where we did a little swap of our own. It was supposed to be my yellow wood grain for her green wood grain but when I got there she couldn’t find it. Instead she let me pick some pieces and then she let me raid her ‘scrap bin’ which I have to say looks way better than my fabric stash! And it’s her scraps!! Pieces she doesn’t even really care about anymore! 
Want to read more, click: Amazing Scraps!
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Please be sure to stop by these lovely ladies blogs!