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Community Pool

The place for advice, feedback, and friendly blogging conversation.

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Have you just published a new post and are dying for some feedback? Did you recently start your blog and could use some layout or design advice from your more seasoned peers?

Tap into the wisdom of The Daily Post blogging community and leave your question here in the comments. Others can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

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  1. Afternoon, all! Leisel from Skill Up Skillet here. (https://skillupskillet.wordpress.com/) I run a weekly updated geek and game themed food blog that reads like anything BUT a cookbook. Expect a fair bit of snark here as well as killer recipes and content! Per some suggestions during previous pools I’ve done quite a bit of reorganization in the last few days and I’d love to get your feedback:

    1. SuS header has been optimized! Now with improved readability and snappier graphics. For those who are familiar with the original header: better? For those who are not familiar, I want your honest first reaction.

    2. Tag cloud has been removed. In its place is a new streamlined menu entitled “Feed Your Fandom” where readers can now, you guessed it, find recipes according to fandom. Right now I think this is probably the most comprehensive way you can find content you’re most interested in. Give it a try and let me know what you think! I think this is one of the biggest site changes to date.

    3. Shortened short side bio, and clicking my frosting streaked face will now direct you to my About page.

    And as always, I am actively seeking new ways to gain new readers. It seems like every time I get a ‘spurt’ I have to call in a favor and… I’m low on favors. O_o Oi. Any tips for networking to be had?
    My thanks as always. I’ll be lurking and offering my suggestions where possible!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Hello everyone!
    I blog over at http://www.diaryofateachaholic.com and would love to have any feedback that you have for me! Anything layout/ writing wise. It’s always great to see what you all think and I take it all on board.
    I blog all things teacher/ mental health and life related!

    Thank you and looking forward to seeing what you get up to!
    Sare xxx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I love what I’m reading but I’m a little confused. Are the tattoo pictures broken in “I hope to always cont;nue”? I can’t see them at all. It may be just my work computer so I’ll pop back later for some proper feedback, and hopefully tat pics.

      Like

    2. I love your layout, and the header especially, it’s really eye catching and it gives your blog tons of personality. I really like your profile image too, it’s warm and welcoming.

      I’m especially envious of the little sections along the right hand side, there are some great headers there and some really good highlighted content. Overall I would say you are doing rather well 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you lovely! It’s so nice to hear from you again, I haven’t seen you around much since I closed down New Teacher Life and started here!
        I am going to change the pictures (i think!) in the side bar to something more relavent in the post – what do you think?
        Sarah xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, I thought it was you, I was going to go back to your old blog to check, as I’ve only just seen you are blogging somewhere else! Good reinvention! I actually quite like that the sidebar takes you to a different post, I think it might draw readers in to other posts that they might not otherwise see! Glad to see you’re still blogging 🙂

        Like

  3. Hi everyone! I’m a college blogger from Atlanta. I have two blogs, one personal and the other one full of food reviews. Earlier in the week I decided to “advertise” my food blog on my main blog. I would love feedback about the post. Did it prompt you to visit my other blog? Was it annoying? Could I have made the post better in any way? Thanks so much!! http://catherinezhang.me/2015/07/12/friendly-reminder-theres-awesome-stuff-happening-on-my-other-blog/

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think it’s wonderfully well written. When I saw the picture of Banh Xeo I was hooked; I literally just saw that dish referenced in the manga Shokugeki no Soma I have open in another tab. The links to posts on your food blog are well integrated in your writing and are on point. Hypothetically, if I wasn’t already following your food blog I would be now.

      Psst, have you done an article on Chicago’s Brunch? Cannot recommend it highly enough.

      Like

      1. Ah thanks so much! Yeah, that definitely makes sense. I didn’t know if people would want to click on it if it was just the title of my other blog. Definitely need to consider these things a bit more! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That makes one of us who enjoys talking about themselves, so good job getting through it. Was glad it didn’t get too gushy, as evidenced by “(It’s ok, you can stop vomiting at the sentiment now…)”… because I kind of was. It was a fun read.

      Like

      1. Thanks Leisel – a bloggy friend and I are going to start a regular version of this sort of post to try and encourage introverted bloggers to talk about themselves without feeling embarrassed…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hiya, I thi your blog is nice but I thought it was busy, lots of pictures. A little bit overwhelming. Also, I didn’t quite get the gif placement in your most recent posts, I don’t that they were really complimentary to what you were saying?? Maybe I’m not getting it? I couldn’t help but notice that you had sponsors. Other bloggers sponsor you, what is that?

      Like

  4. Hello all – I’ve changed my sidebar menu so that all the category links are images based on my logo. Is it as cool as I think it is, or they in some way actually quite annoying? Feedback on anything else you find there is also welcome…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s definitely cool. First of all, I love the images themselves. Secondly, it definitely draws attention to the categories in a way that a simple written list does not, so it really invites people to explore the various categories and your site. I read a few of your posts as well and I enjoyed the humor. I liked the Italian/English dictionary post in particular since I have a large number of outdated foreign language reference books hanging about…

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Your blog looks fab! I loved the way the photos worked and linked through to your categories! That’s amazing. Loved the way you get your name to rhyme with the majority of them too, that’s a really quirky thing to do 🙂 I really liked the simple design with the face in the middle and all the different colour selections, that’s really good, it keeps things clear and visually pleasing! Keep up the good work 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Nah, they look great and are a nice addition. Brightly colored, yes, but playful and not distracting from your posts. You’re really getting there, man; love stopping by for your posts whenever you have a new one out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Plus, they appear at the bottom of the page which is kinda Inconvenient.
        I think you could still go ahead with your plans if you:
        1. Ensure they appear above on your mobile page.
        2. Make the text stand out in the icons

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Hi James. Great job on getting creative with links and images, and it does look pretty great. The only issue I had was the stormtrooper background, though appreciated, is kind of distracting. Also though the graphics grabbed my attention seeing them after each post did prove a little repetitive.

      Incase I’m coming off as overly critical these are things that I thought worked well: Your posts are varied in content (i really enjoyed the poem about the rabbit), your titles grabbed my attention, and that it was easy to check out your other content without much searching.

      Hope this helped in some small way!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Everyone,

    I’m writing a fairly satirical blog about the year(s) after I finish uni, starting with the end of university, going to India and discovering what it is I’m doing next. Feed back and ideas are most welcome!

    Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Nicely written. You may want to watch your paragraph length and consider adding an image or two to help the posts flow a little more smoothly. Also, have you considered adding a tagline to your blog?

      Like

      1. Thanks, yeah length of my paragraphs is something I’ve been wondering about for a while! Ok sure, adding more pictures is a good idea, I’ll need to make sure they’re actually relevant though otherwise I feel it’ll just detract from the piece but yes I’ll make sure I do! Tagline.. hmmm I’ll have a think. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Do you mean more in terms of explaining what the blog is about or getting people involved? Both probably. And for the India page, yes it’s incredibly short an inadequate currently but that will swiftly change next month when I get there! I’m off to work now but will see what you’re doing with your blog tomorrow!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I was going to say that some images would help, but after reading a few posts I’d honestly say I didn’t mind the rather large blocks of text. Images may make your blog feel a little more personal. Also I see you have a sidebar available to you, the latest posts widget or links would be helpful when it comes to navigating your block. Maybe try some image links!

      Other wise great job, I’m looking forward to reading more of your content.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Really like the tone of your posts, your personality comes through which is good and it makes your blog interesting. I would say the same as Leisel below… to avoid chunky blocks of text, it often puts me off as a reader so I’m sure I’m not the only one!

      I hope that helps! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! Yes I think that seems to be the consensus, I’ll break things up more in future without trying to break up the feel of it! I must say your writing is a pleasure to read, after a couple of months using wordpress I’m finally finding more blogs that will make me want to write which is great, so thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m sure you can find a way of using photos or even just paragraph breaks, you never know, it might even help you highlight or illustrate certain things! I’ve found blogging to be a continually evolving process, so I’m sure you’ll learn lots as you go along. Thank you, that’s very kind, I’m very pleased to be counted as a blog that makes you want to write! WordPress is really great for that, it’s a lovely community and it’s great for constant inspiration. Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello, everyone! I would appreciate feedback on the layout/design of my soccer blog. Are the menu options easy to find, do you like the colors, do I need more/fewer images, etc. Any and all feedback/constructive criticism is welcome. I will be happy to return the favor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Alex, first of all, I’m not a huge football fan myself (I’m British so I do mean soccer) but my other half is a huge fan and regular player so I’m sort of sucked in to it sometimes haha! Personally, I think your doing a good job 🙂 obviously the colour scheme reflects the content and your side bar is easy to see and scroll through. Your menu is fine, easy to navigate. I don’t think you used to many photos, I think it looked fine. You could explore adding more colours BUT that’s just my personal taste, I’m a huge fan of colours so I do like to have a variety to look at lol! Reading through some of the comment left on your post, it’s clear your readers enjoy your content so keep it up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Faye, I appreciate it! I’ve thought about diversifying the color scheme a bit, but I didn’t want to create clashes, since I often have the team logos in the posts and those come in a variety of colors!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, that’s a thought! You could maybe experiment in the customiser with different themes, try them on, see what you think. You can do that by going over to the theme selection and clicking on ‘preview’ button, it lets you see how your blog would look with a different theme… Maybe? Possibly try designing a new header? Or leave it as it is lol, like I said it’s just my preference to have more colour! You should visit mine, it’s all pink! Haha

        Like

      3. I see that! It’s very pink. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – yours is all pink and mine is all green, haha. I just read your money saving hints post, I am frugal to a fault, so I enjoyed that. You have some good tips there.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah thanks! Yeah, I do enjoy a splash of colour, weirdly though, I chose grey for my other blog (www.introvertedfangirl.wordpress.com) that’s actually the blog I asked for feedback on tonight, any chance you’d take a look there for me please? Thanks 🙂

        Like

    2. Cool blog.
      But you should put more work on the header image and text.
      Also, in my personal opinion- a dark flashy theme would suit your blog perfectly.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the feedback. Could you be a little more specific about the header? “more work on the text” – do you mean a different font, different words…?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Congrats on getting a domain name, that’s exciting!!

      I do notice as well that part of your header image is cut off, but that could just be because I’m looking at it on my phone. Other than that, your blog looks good – clear, easy to scroll through and share your posts, and they aren’t too long which makes it easy to read a few at a time. One thought for you – because you clearly have so many different topics you talk about (and I do this too!) maybe add categories in your menu? Like one for parenting, one for your book, one for your general talks, and then file your posts under those categories. That way, someone who reads one of your posts on parenting for example, and wants to see more like it, can easily click on that category and be led to more. Good luck!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello everyone!

    I’m a fourteen year old girl who blogs about baking, beauty, fashion and my faith in God, and other lifestyle bits. I would really love a bit of feedback on my blog, so I would be super happy if you had a look and told me what you think! I will be sure to have a look at your blog too and follow you 🙂
    Graciellen xxx

    graciellen.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like the idea of the color scheme but the header is incredibly faint. I was scrolling around several times on the page before I saw the print under ‘graciellen’. Perhaps just a few shades brighter?

      Like

      1. I’m so sorry to hear that. I am a firm believer in taking strength from horrible situations though having seen a few myself, so keep your head up and try to remember the positives… I feel you were already doing so with your post. Even though you say you were feeling melancholy, there was still a strong and positive message within it, which is great especially after all you’ve been through.

        Like

      1. Thank you kindly! I loved making it but disaster struck today when my cats jumped on it with wet paws! It’s ruined 😦 boo! Ah well, I can make another 🙂 thanks for the follow!

        Like

    1. I love the header image, and your art is fantastic. I can’t imagine how much patience you would need for something so geometric and intricate! Regarding your “little test”, I definitely connected with your second post more (the redone one).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much for stopping over. Yeah it took me ages! I loved it though 🙂
        Yeah I need to remove the first one! I t was good fun seeing the difference between the one and the other 🙂

        Like

    2. Your blog is so awesome! I love your photos, tbh I just scrolled around looking for more and more photos of your art!
      The one tip I wanna give : set “featured photos” on posts… that way when I look on mobile, your site is a bit more colorful 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s called pen scratch I think. I can’t really find theme I like for this blog. I know it need to work of personalisation more and featured images too but it’s finding a theme that doesn’t overdo it with the featur images, sometimes I find them a bit overhwhelming

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Totally get that! Have you tried Sela? I liked that theme for the layout.. often you can also edit the image to be smaller if you go to the admin > add new post.
        and then when you upload the featured image, you can usually edit it…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah, I’ve tried sela, I actually use that for one of my blogs and switched over to it today for the other 🙂 I really get along with that theme. It has a lot to offer in terms of customisation!

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      4. Yeah it does! I hope you’re able to figure out your “featured image” issues! I find the best way to do it is just either edit the photos down to a size you like on your computer’s photo editor, or do it while you’re making the post 🙂

        Like

      5. Yeah. I used to use them all the time but I just don’t really have the time to edit all the photos I want to include. I kind like the fact that in the reader, it auto uses one of the photos as a feature anyway and I think my front page looks nicer without them. I have added a lot more colour now so I think I can get away with not having to use them lol http://www.introvertedfangirl.wordpress.com if you’d like to take a look

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank for checking it out for me. I really appreciate you taking the time! I totally agree, I think I’ve found it now 🙂 I really like the overall look, I guess I just need to consider using feature images now. Thanks again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I have a question regarding frequency: While I’m certain the majority of popular blogs tends to also be the blogs that publish regularly, but are there downsides to being an infrequent blogger other than your potential audience not being exposed to as much content as they would otherwise? I mean, would you ever unfollow a blog because of it’s lack of regular or “fresh” content?Similarly, would you fail to follow a blog after scanning and seeing holes the size of, say, months, in their posting schedule? Also, have an epic day!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think gaps of months between posts would certainly give me second thoughts about following a blog. I would probably have forgotten about it by the time a new post showed up!

      I think, if you plan to write infrequently, you should definitely look into setting up an editorial calendar. Schedule posts in advance and plan in advance.

      It might also be a good idea to put your schedule in your about page – for instance “New posts every Sunday” or “New posts every other Wednesday” or whatever it is, so people won’t be discouraged from following if they see the most recent post is date-stamped a while ago.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for your views and advice, Alex. The editorial calendar seems like a great way to capitalise on the moments when I am fuelled to write a significant amount. Go well 🙂

        Like

    2. I follow a couple of blogs where the authors post infrequently and there have been gaps of months between posts. But I only follow them because I enjoy their posts a lot.

      Usually, I prefer to follow blogs where the authors post regularly because then it gives the blog reader a chance to connect with the blogger, rather than sporadic posts here and there.

      I agree with Alex that an editorial calendar is an excellent idea. One of my blogging goals for this year is to become more focused with my blogging. At the moment, I don’t want to set up a schedule whereby I post on the same day/days each week (I aim to post at least once per week, but the day varies), but planning posts in advance helps a lot.

      It’s all about finding a schedule that works for you and your readers.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I guess I did miss the fundamental element of human connection, which can only be truly achieved (I assume) with familiarity. I guess that’s my final bridge to cross in many ways – to become a truly empathetic writer who isn’t as much about putting his words out there as much as connecting with people. Thanks for your thoughts, Grace, and good luck in your quest to become more focused. I wish you monk-like resolve!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Solid advice. The more I read, the better I can hear the author’s “blogging voice”. I don’t think its valuable to force a post, but consistency and frequency make it easier on us fans.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. I like keeping neat ends so if I notice a blog’s become inactive for 12 months or greater I will unfollow it. I have only ever made one exception to this rule as the blog holds a sort of sentimental value for me. Probably I’d lose some patience with myself if I posted half as frequently as I currently do.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Hi Wayne,
      I read a great deal about blogging since I post blogging suggestions for bloggers at my site. Some research says never post less than once a week; other articles say even once a week is too infrequent. All the research agrees that consistency is important, so your readers know what to expect.
      Janice

      Liked by 1 person

    5. gaps of a month or two would bother me. A week long gap wouldn’t bother me. Two weeks might bug me if it happened all the time. Publishing as frequently as possible is always ideal!
      ps mind checking out my site too? any constructive criticism is always welcome! http://www.thehonestroot.com

      Like

      1. Thanks for your views, April. I scanned through your blog 🙂 First off, nice theme and layout. It ‘s pleasing to the eye. I can’t really comment on the content – I’m just not within your niche. But as far as the writing goes, I found you open and accessible, and enjoyable to follow along with, which is always good. One negative that came across to me was the title “How I got the local grocer to carry ethical meat,” which gave off a kind of “look at me” vibe. Obviously I don’t know you, but that was my first impression upon reading it. Also, great job on your post frequency. I envy you :p All the best!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Wayne,
        thanks for your feedback! I had toyed with the title for that meat post, because of that very reason.. Maybe I better try harder to think up a different way to say it. I deff don’t want to come across as some perfect specimen…haha. Best of luck with your blog, and thanks again for taking the time to scan over mine!

        Like

      3. I guess it comes down to personal preference in the end. Some people might find that sort of title empowering – a kind of, “Yeah, you go girl!” vibe. It really depends on what kind of persona you wish to portray and what kind of audience you’re trying to resonate with. Ultimately your blog should be a harmonious (or harmoniously disharmonious) extension of who you truly are. FYI I have been known to ramble so don’t mind me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well the vibe I want to give off is of community and togetherness… so I certainly DON’T want the possibility to make it seem like I’m trying to “pull ahead of the pack” or something… so I’m going to continue to work on my wording, and I truly appreciate your criticism! It’s very helpful!

        Like

  9. I’m not here for blogging advice this time, although I love the Community Pool!

    This is a question that I want to ask every time a new Community Pool post is published: what does “no running on the deck” mean in the Community Pool rules?

    I’m probably being silly, but I just can’t figure it out! Can someone enlighten me?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s just a joke – a pun on the “pool” part of the “community pool” name. Most swimming pools have signs saying “no running on the deck” – the area around the pool – since it is usually wet and slippery and you’re likely to fall.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. It’s a joke! Since this is a “pool” we thought it was wise to remind people not to run on the slippery surface around it. And it’s not you being silly — it’s our sense of humor being (proudly!) sophomoric.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with Deboo, Im Not a fan of the circle, I think they hinder your blog. it stopped me from exploring further because I wasn’t really interested in what was in front of me when I first came. Personally, if I were you, I would find a different theme and see how that alters things for you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I would try a different theme, tbh, because this one is confusing on mobile – which is where a lot of people view WP posts. try one that allows readers to scroll down the page in a continuum (similar to how my blog is set up. Not necessarily exactly the same, but that idea) the bubbles aren’t my fave.

      mind reviewing my site too? Thanks! http://www.thehonestroot.com

      Like

    1. Your design is very clean and crisp… but I can’t help but wonder if maybe it is a little bit too much in that direction – it feels a little bit sterile. A little more personalization might make it more visually engaging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you on that one.
        But for now, this is the best I can do without paying. I’ve already tried out all the free themes and in the end, I stuck with this one.
        Anyways, thanks for your feedback.

        Like

  10. Good afternoon all! I hope you are all well. I have recently completed my first attempt at a short story. Over the past seven weeks I have been posting chapter by chapter and it’s finally come to a conclusion. This was a small project I have worked on whilst my WIP takes shape. I am now past the half way mark in my first psychological thriller novel. Do stop by and check it out if you can. Thanks for your support as always! Mark http://www.markdraycott.com

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Over the years I have set up a total of 5 wordpress blogs, each has a specific audience. BUT here is my dilemma. I started blogs under two different emails. Now, I am looking at upgrading my wordpress to premium so I can customize my page a bit more. HOWEVER, I would love it if all my blogs were under ONE email and thus ONE premium package. Is there any way to move the three blogs that I have on wordpress under a different email over to the email I have for this blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy Monday all! Working on my latest post (or should I say RAMBLING) on my blog: http://atypical60.com/ . I really would like feedback on how to improve, how to STOP blabbing so much in one post and how to get followers? I suck at social skills sometimes–so any advice on getting followers would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance..and let me get back to my post! Best to everyone! Cathe

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m a guy, so I’m not your target demographic. I did see some stuff that I would suggest. 1) Excellent conversational style… I like the sound of your written voice. 2) Some of the nicest travel pictures I’ve seen… you match them up well with your text. 3) I really wish you had put response plugins at the bottom of your posts. 4) I would write just as much as you, but I would package it in 3-4 “bites” instead of one very long one. I really enjoyed your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. One option would be to split your post into two – the first on shoes and then link to a second post on the sales.

      I write freely, but edit more harshly and save thoughts that are really going a bit off-subject in an ‘ideas for later’ pot.

      There are lots of ways to attract followers but the best is to be generous with your own time, visiting blogs and letting people know when you’ve enjoyed their work.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Really interesting blog:)
      I would recommend maybe separating your posts, I personally found the last one very long to go through:)
      You can always have them in the same category so your readers find them easily!
      Visit some other blogs for inspiration:)
      I hope it helps!

      Like

    4. Hi Catherine,
      You asked how to get new followers. I offer blogging suggestions to bloggers and have many articles about how to get new followers at my site. I even have a follow to follow directory and a pretty current Meet and Greet. Here is the link to my About page, so you can read more about my blog. http://wp.me/P5jxvv-1
      Janice

      Like

    5. Wow. Based on what you’re saying here, I’m impressed. Yes, your posts are incredibly long and I would recommend breaking them up and possibly adding Read More tags but… what can I say? Excellently written content; I had read through your first post without even noticing I’d been sucked in.

      Try networking with other bloggers. If you appreciate their work they’re sure to return the favor. I do see that you have a Facebook widget but it seems like a bit of an afterthought. Really get out there and promote yourself! Try finding forums and FB groups with similar interests and connect with other like minded individuals.

      (Also, holy crow, I’d kill to look that good when I’m 60– are you SURE you’re 60?)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The theme is very nice.
      As you just started blogging, you obviously have very little number of posts.
      For now, I would suggest you to work on your About-page and put some thoughts on customizing your blog even more.
      And keep on engaging with the blogging community regularly.

      Like

    2. Hi:)
      Welcome to WordPress!
      Good start for your blog, work a bit on your About page, readers like to know about their author:)
      It’s good that you’ve decided on your topic, you can always try new things along the way:)
      Keep writing and you’ll be great:)

      Like

      1. Well done:)
        Another advice I can give you, is to use pictures along side your posts:) Make it visual…it has a double effect on the message you want to send across:)

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Ergh, personally I’d like to never revisit that period of my life again but it’s nice to see someone optimistic about it. I would recommend adding some pictures to your posts for some added interest.

      Like

      1. Hahaha I’m so glad I’m done with that period of my life, but I did try to view it as optimistically as I could, and I’m hoping others will too. Thank you for the feedback, I’ll work on it 🙂

        Like