Give Your Blog a Head Start for 2015! {Spin Cycle Prompt}

After taking a break from blogging, it’s hard for me to get back into writing regularly on my blog again. For example, I usually publish the Spin Cycle prompt by Monday morning…and it’s almost Monday evening!

blog printing blocks

Last week, we took a break from The Spin Cycle, and I was tempted to take this week off as well. However, these questions might be just the thing to get our blogs off to a good start in 2015! Copy and paste these questions and answer some or all of them on your blog. Link up your answers any day this week! The link-up is open until Sunday, January 4!

1. What do you love the most about blogging?
2. How do you find the time to keep up with all the aspects related to blogging (posting, reading, commenting, responding, etc)?
3. Does your family know about your blog and does this affect what you blog about?
4. If you didn’t blog, what would you be doing with that time?
5. Have you been in a blogging rut and how did you pull yourself out of it?
6. Have you ever considered leaving the blogging world and why? What stopped you?
7. Show some blog love: Name another blog that you adore.
8. What’s your favorite social media outlet for sharing your blog posts?
9. What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since you started blogging?
10. Any new blogging plans or ideas for the new year?

I’m looking forward to reading your answers! I’ll publish my answers on Friday…hopefully before the sun goes down!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code from my sidebar on the right to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! Coming up on The Spin Cycle for the week of January 5: Word of the Year: How did you do with last year’s word? What will you choose for this year? Here’s a link to my Word of the Year for 2014, including the linky to some of your Words of the Year. (Linky Tools lost your images, but the links still work!)




A Look Back; a Look Ahead

Happy New Year! 2013 flew by fast, didn’t it? Here’s recap of some of my “favorites” for 2013, and how I’m looking forward to 2014.

Favorite blogging moment: I submitted my blog post about the loss of my mom and grandma for consideration for the BlogHer 2013 Voices of the Year on a whim. I was completely and totally shocked when it was chosen! I still feel very honored the be a BlogHer VOTY.

The Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin
Click the photo to read my Voice of the Year blog post.

Blogging in 2014: First, a little history. Jen from Sprite’s Keeper started giving writing prompts for The Spin Cycle back when all blog hops were called memes and when links were entered manually into blog posts. It’s the place where I met many wonderful bloggers who are awesome writers. Unfortunately, many of them don’t blog any more.  Jen, who had been blogging every day, decided she needed a break and passed The Spin Cycle on to Gretchen from Second Blooming. Gretchen has been doing an awesome job of keeping The Spin Cycle going! Recently, I’ve noticed that many blog hops have grown by being hosted by more than one blogger. In 2013, Gretchen and I teamed up to bring you The Spin Cycle. I hope that together we can continue to provide you with writing prompts and help the Spin Cycle grow! If you’re blogger, we’d love you to join us each week! (Click here for more Spin Cycle details!)

Best realization: I actually am a writer, and I was published in two books this year! I’m hoping that I will be able to contribute to more books in 2014.

Best Breast Cancer Moment: I know, this just sounds weird. Bear with me for a minute! At the beginning of December, I had a video call with a researcher in the United Kingdom. I was contributing to her research on breastfeeding after breast cancer. Helping young breast cancer patients is one of the reasons I started this blog, and being part of a research project makes me feel even more helpful. It’s such important research; I definitely could have benefited from more information when I was trying to breastfeed my children. Jan, the researcher and a midwife, is having trouble finding participants. If you know anyone who was diagnosed with breast cancer and then went on to have children, please let me know!

Breast Cancer research contributions in the future: I’m already planning over two years into the future for this one! In 2016, it will be 20 years since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. I really want to walk in the 2016 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara, if the walk still exists. I’ve walked it in Chicago twice, and it is an amazing, AH-MAZING experience. I also want to put together a team to walk with me, including my sisters and cousins. We would make an amazing team!

Now for some less heavy, more frivolous favorites!

Favorite song: I can’t get enough of Counting Stars by OneRepublic.

Least favorite song: I can’t stand listening to We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus. The video is even ickier.

Favorite movie in the theater: This one is easy, since we don’t go out to the movies very often. And of course, it’s a kid’s movie. I think Lily and Emmy would agree that Frozen is the best movie of the year. That we saw. In the theater. The only movie we saw in the theater!

Movie to see in 2014: I really want to see the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire. Of course, it’s too violent for the kids and my husband has no interest in seeing it. Maybe I’ll go by myself!

Favorite movie on DVD: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m a huge scifi/fantasy fan, but my husband is not. So I borrowed these DVDs from my brother and watched them over a couple of weeks when I was doing laundry. Those were the only two weeks of the year that I actually folded and put away the laundry in a decent amount of time!

Most disappointing movie on DVD: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I loved the book as a child, and this movie was not a movie for children. The dwarves were too intense and the goblins were too scary. I still want to see the next Hobbit movies, but I will always love the book more.

Favorite book: This is a hard one; I read so many good books this year! My favorite was Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.

Most surprising book: Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. I didn’t have high expectations when I read this book; I actually thought I wouldn’t like it. But to my surprise, I loved it!

Most disappointing book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson. I know, I’m that last person to read it. I really enjoyed the writing, but there was a little too much “ick” in it for me, with the relationship between the main characters and the violent ending. Normally I’m not squeamish, but just…ick!

Book to Read in 2014: Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes. Everyone I know has been raving about this book!

What are some of your favorites from 2013? Is there anything you’re looking forward to in 2014?


signatureSPIN CYCLE THIS WEEK: Write about a highlight from 2013, and link up your post any day this week! Click here to link up!