Friday, December 6, 2013

Tags and Awards

Karen from KPsays created this Thankful for Blogger Friends tag and I was tagged by Pilar from Beauty and More by Pilar and Brittnee from A Beauty Product a Day. Both of these are amazing women and fantastic bloggers. I respectfully request you take a moment to check them out. This tag is all about recognizing the beauty friends you have met through blogging. I know some amazing and wonderful women who inspire me everyday to be a better version of myself. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and get comfy. It's a long tag. 

ABOUT YOUR BLOG (Please be specific in your answers, so we can all learn something!):
How long have you been blogging?
Well over 4 years now. I began June 21, 2009 which was one month before my 40th birthday. 
Are there any bloggers who helped you out/encouraged you when you first started your blog?
When I first began blogging? No. But I blogged for me rather than for any potential audience. I began blogging as a way to cope with my illness. So it was about the process of writing rather than hoping to gain an audience. 

What Social Media has given you the most traffic to your blog? Is there a platform that you don’t use?
Google + and Twitter definitely drives most of the new traffic to my blog. I am starting to use LinkedIn and Tumblr as well. I am really curious to see which flavors of social media helps garner an audience. 
How often do you post? Do you have a regular schedule?
I post about 3-4 times a week depending upon what is going on. Right now with Beauty CrownHoliday Glam, Building a Better Beauty Blog, awards, tags and regular posts it has been more like 4-5 times a week. 
Where do you blog?
Typically I camp out on my bed and blog from there. The biggest reason is because I can multitask and relax while blogging. My body doesn't do well with stress, it increases my symptoms, so I tend to keep things very relaxed. Yes, I blog a lot in my pajamas. 
What camera do you use? What photo editing software do you use?
I use a Canon Rebel T1i which is 3-4 years old but it works beautifully and is an amazing camera. I will also take the occasional picture with my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone.  For quick edits I will use It's quick, easy and does great collages. For full blown editing I use Photoshop Elements 7. 

How did you come up with your blog name?
Shalunya (shal-loon-ya) is a nickname I was given by my Russian teacher when I was in the Army learning to speak Russian.  It means mischievous or naughty little girl. But my real name is much less exotic; it's Michelle Renee. Most people call me Renee or Nay. Boyet (boy-yet) is the nickname my husband's family has always called him. His real name is Arnold. 
Do you do any regular “series” posts on your blog?
I do BBBB, Building a Better Beauty Blog, with the ever so fabulous Laurie from The Makeup Squid. Laurie does great posts about post content and I do more technical posts about customizing your blog. 

What draws you to a blog? 
I have to agree with Brittnee that photography will immediately catch my attention but it's content that will keep me coming back. Statistics say that most blog readers will spend less than 2 minutes on a blog post. But I am the type that actually enjoys reading posts. So you have to be interesting to keep me coming back. 
What turns you off of a blog?
Negativity. My life and my health are too complicated to willingly bring more of it into my life. I enjoy makeup because it makes me feel beautiful. People with bad attitudes make me feel like a sourpuss. Therefore, I will just steer clear of anything that makes my attitude turn south. 
How many blogs do you subscribe to? Are they all beauty related?
I subscribe to close to 100 blogs. The vast majority are beauty related but some are chronic illness blogs. The only way I can keep up with that many blogs is by using Feedly as it's the most effective blog feed reader I've discovered. You can read more about why it's so awesome in my post.
When do you generally read blogs?
I read whenever I get a chance. I read on my computer at home and on my phone or tablet when on the go. Which is another reason why Feedly is so awesome. It keeps track of what I've read so I can pick up right where I left off. 
What is your favorite type of post and why?
I am discovering that I really enjoy collaborative posts. I love everything about them. I enjoy creating them, working on them and reading them. I am especially fond of linked posts because it's a great way to discover new blogs and to have your blog discovered by new readers. 
What is your least favorite type of post and why?
Posts that give contradictory, incorrect or false information. As beauty bloggers we have an obligation to relay correct and helpful information to our readers. Do not instruct readers to use a product in a manner which is not recommended by the manufacturer. Do not use pictures from the internet in a deceptive manner. It could land you in legal limbo and readers want to get to connect with the real author not some fictitious version of them. 
NOW ABOUT YOU!! (If there are any you prefer not to answer, just skip!):
Where do you live? Tell us a bit about your city!
I live in Oklahoma City which still has small town mentality. People here are super friendly and helpful. We roll up the sidewalks at 10pm. We don't sell beer or cars on Sundays. We were the last state in the union to legalize tattooing. We are fiercely protective of each other especially after a disaster. We've had more than our share of disasters with the Murrah bombing and repeated tornadoes. We created the term 'Oklahoma Standard'. If you don't know what it is you should read my blog post.  
What about your home?
Home is a place in your heart more so than the dwelling in which you live. Both Boyet and I feel that we have two homes. One in Oklahoma and the other in Philippines. We currently reside on a small acreage in rural Oklahoma with my sister and my niece. 
Single or taken?
Taken. Boyet stole my heart while we were playing Facebook poker together. It took a couple of years to get him to America. We've now been married for 16 months. 
Do you have children?
Three. My son, whom I affectionately call my critter, is 24. Boyet's daughters are 10 and 8. 
Do you have pets?
Sort of. My sister and niece own 2 dogs and 2 cats. The Bengal cat, Zoomie, has adopted us. If we are home she will be cuddled up on one of our pillows with us. 
Do you have a "day job"?
I have a part time day job. I work as the membership coordinator at the YMCA. It's a small corporate branch for a local hospital and our members feel more like our extended family rather than just members. I have very flexible hours which is important for taking care of my health. 
Do you have siblings?
I have one older sister and we are as different as night and day but we still love each other! 
3 words to describe yourself.
Friendly, positive, and quirky.
Who is your style icon and why?
I would have to say Natalie Wood as she could go from the girl next door to the Hollywood Starlet. 
3 favorite bands/ musicians
Lady Gaga. I'm a huge fan and have been to several concerts. Bowling for Soup, their most popular song was 1985. Their fun and they find the humor in everything. Boyce Avenue. They are an awesome cover band.
3 favorite movies
Splendor in the Grass with Natalie Wood. Dirty Dancing with the late Patrick Swayze. The Gospel of Judas which is a documentary about the physical canon which could have been excluded from the Bible. It also tells the story of the Judas Iscariot, the disciple who knowingly sent his best friend into the hands of the enemy to be murdered. 
3 favorite books
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. It explains Taoist principles through the characters of Winnie the Pooh. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. Several young adult series like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series. 
3 random/ weird facts about you
My body is very weird. I can hear the patch in my brain creaking. I can hear my pulse. I can taste IVs. I see and hear things that aren't there.
I am a die hard anti-iAnything technology junkie. I am currently typing this on miniature bluetooth keyboard for my android tablet.

My sister gave me an untold amount of Valium when I was a toddler. She was playing doctor and I was obviously a good patient.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this tag and I would like to tag every blogger who has not done this tag. If you would like to do this tag please feel free to say that I tagged you. 

The amazingly beautiful Louise from Kinder Health and Beauty has awarded me the Liebster Award for the third time. It's an honor receive the award once again. The rules are simple: follow who tagged you and answer the 10 questions which the tagger made for you. Then nominate more people with your own 10 questions. Let's get into it. Since this is my third time being nominated I will not be nominating 10 more bloggers but I will answer Louise's questions because I adore her and would hate to disappoint her.  

1) What's your favourite natural beauty tip?
Coconut oil is your best friend. It can be used in so many different ways. 

2) Who do you aspire to be like the most?
Rather than aspiring to someone specific, I try very hard to be the best version of myself. I believe in being kind, being helpful and loving everyone regardless of our differences. 

3) Which beauty item could you not live without?
Moisturizer with sunscreen. There is nothing more important than healthy skin. Healthy skin is the key ingredient to aging gracefully.  

4) If you could only wear one item of makeup before you leave the house, what would you use?
I would have to say mascara. I have such blonde lashes and small features that my eyes almost cease to exist without lashes. 

5) What's your most-loved hair product?
I am going to say the Organix Renewing Moroccan Argan Oil Weightless Healing Dry Oil or Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine Mist. Both spray super fine mist of dry oil which leaves hair shiny and healthy. 

6) What's your favorite cleanser?
L'Oreal Paris Ideal Clean Foaming Gel Cleanser. I love this cleanser because it leaves my skin feeling clean without feeling tight. 

7) What's your favorite way to relax and unwind after a long, hard day?
To sit at my computer with a lovely cup of hot green tea to read and write blog posts. 

8) Where is your favorite city in the world to visit?
My second home Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines.

9) Your favorite beverage?
Tea. Cold black tea and hot green tea. 

10) Your favorite meal?
A huge salad with chicken breast. There are so many different ways to serve salad. I could eat salad for the rest of my life and never tire of it. Followed by a small piece of my husband's amazing cheesecake.

Next up is the Versatile Blogger Award I was nominated by the beautiful and amazing Chelsea from Tiger Love Beauty. Chelsea has a delightful blog and you should take a moment to go check it out. The rules on this tag are super easy tell 7 things about myself and nominate 15 other bloggers. Since this is the third time I have been nominated for this award I will simply tell 7 things about myself. 

1. I can thread a sewing machine, change a tire, drive a standard and saddle a horse. 

2. My memory is awful. I can forget something you told me 5 minutes ago or the name of the movie I just watched. My brain doesn't file the information away properly if it doesn't think it's important.  

3. I know myself really well. I am opinionated. I talk too much. I am too loud. I talk with my hands. I have a flair for the dramatic. I'm stubborn. I'm an eternal optimist. I see all of these as good characteristics.

4. My zodiac is Cancer and I was born under the moon element. My Chinese zodiac is a Rooster. I easily connect emotionally with others and I don't well with superficiality. I am fiercely loyal, completely honest, humorous and can be very moody. 

5. I had stitches in my knee when I was 5 and I wouldn't let the doctor sew me up unless I could watch. I thought it was cool. 

6. Most people are either visual or auditory. I am one of the few that are exactly in between. Therefore I like to see and hear in order to learn anything. 

7. I love coconut in any form. When I go to the Philippines I could eat coconut 24/7. Pan de cocoa (soft, fluffy rolls stuffed with coconut), buko salad (delightful fruit salad with fresh young coconut), macapuno candy (soft chewy coconut candy), and so many more!!! 

Thank you so much for reading. I appreciate all of my blogger friends and my readers. I hope everyone is healthy and looking forward to Christmas.