Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Danger, Blog Off the Rails

This post will mean different things to different people.

If you blog you are aware that there is a whole blogging community out there with diverse groups of writers. The smartest thing a novice can do is to figure out where they belong in these groups, not just in terms of subset of blogs but also in connecting with people who write differently, but are people you find interesting. 

I’m not really sure where I fit in when it comes to blog genres. I think I’m a humor blog, but I’m certainly not the funniest person out there. I bake and, per request, added recipes but I’m hardly a food blog. But the connections I’ve made are all over the place; humor writers, food writers, tech writers, sewing, and home schooling.

If you don’t blog, there’s still a sweet story worth reading here and even a moral at the end.


Peppermint Bark | www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe

Peppermint Bark

I can’t remember when I found A Little Unhinged, but I do know how I came to know Bonnie. She writes mostly about enhancing the blogging experience. I learned from her posts and what I didn’t understand, I asked. And she answered.

If you need help, as I did with many issues I’ve had with my blog, she jumps in and figures it out. Above and beyond.  Bonnie, a person I’ve never met, has spent hours on my blog and more hours researching things that I will probably never understand. In a last ditch effort to figure out what I could possibly have done to derail this poor innocent blog, she went through 59 pages of my blog’s HTML. Yes, 59 pages.

One time, when Bonnie and I were working together (remotely) on my blog (meaning she was working on it and I was sitting here in awe) she surprised me with a gift. I’m still trying to figure out how this works; she spends multiple hours fixing my blog and she’s bought me a gift? I’m a little fuzzy on the logic, but she did. She bought me my domain. I have been gifted www.BakingInATornado.com. And, because I’m who I am (let’s call it technically challenged, shall we) and she’s who she is (tech savvy), she set it all up for me.

In return, I did the only thing I could think of. I noticed that A Little Unhinged  was naked. So I worked with Bonnie and designed a logo/button. It’s a piece of jewelry my blog will proudly wear. Whether your blog is fine and you want to enhance, or your blog is a little unhinged and you need help, click on the button in my sidebar and you will be magically transported to a place where tips, tutorials and assistance are available. Even to Strangers.



A Little Unhinged logo | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

I have (as most of you already know) started two different link-up blog series, the Secret Subject Swap and the Fly on the Wall challenge. The logistics involved in running 2 link-up series just from spreadsheets, word documents and my email is staggering. I'm now spending hours on them every week.

And now the moral of the story: I hope that everyone, whether you’re a blogger or not, views this effort the way I want Bonnie to see it; as me paying it forward.


Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics








Peppermint Bark
                             ©www.BakingInATornado.com



Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
12 ounces of dark chocolate (can use semi sweet)
12 ounces of white chocolate
about 35 peppermint hard candies, crushed (or you can crush candy canes)

Directions:
*Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment paper.
*Crush candies or candy canes in a food processor or put into a sealed plastic bag and crush with a food mallet.
*Melt the dark (or semi sweet) chocolate in the microwave for one minute. Stir. Microwave one minute more and stir again. Continue at 10 second intervals until the chocolate is completely smooth.
*Spread the chocolate in a thin layer over the wax paper. You may have to hold the wax paper in place with one hand as you move the chocolate around with a spatula in the other hand.
*Put in refrigerator to start to set. This shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. Don't let it completely set or the second layer won't adhere to it.
*Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 40 seconds. Stir. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir again. Continue at 10 second intervals until the white chocolate is completely smooth.
*Mix the crushed candies into the white chocolate and spread this mixture over the dark chocolate on the cookie sheet. It’s alright if the dark chocolate and the white chocolate mix together in places.
*Put in refrigerator to set. Break into pieces.
*This is best if stored in the refrigerator and taken out about a half an hour before serving.


46 comments:

  1. Bonnie is quite the little elf, isn't she? I wouldn't be sad if someone bought me my own domain for Christmas(though my family thinks a domain is where you live and has no idea what it has to do with the internet or blogs!)

    You did a great job on her button! And the peppermint bark sounds divine! I'm all out of comments. I'm going to go curl up on my couch and try to get better!

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    1. Bonnie gave me my blog back, then literally gave me my blog. I'm lucky to have found her.

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    2. We are all lucky that we've found her! :-D

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  2. She sounds amazing and I am definitely going to head on over and say hello! I love your blog (you know that ~ and I love participating in your links!)

    By the way ~ your links aren't working for her...think the .com isn't added to the end of them.

    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. I fixed the links, thanks for looking out for me. Glad you're going to visit her, so much info available there.

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  3. Thank you Karen for introducing us to Bonnie! Firstly, we would like to say that our blog is just a tiny bit "unhinged". Okay, it is a great bit "unhinged", but who's worried? Yes, I am! That's why we are so grateful to you for posting this magnificent blog! Just one more reason that we follow you. :) By the way, those Peppermint Barks look devine!

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    1. That Peppermint Bark is devine, and so is Bonnie!

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  4. That is AMAZING!!!!!! :)
    It never fails to amaze me how people you have never met can impact your life in such a wonderful and positive way!!!

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    1. It never fails to amaze me either. People like that are what this time of year is really about.

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  5. Karen, I'm totally making this.

    Also, in other news, I have a friend who is interested in starting a baking blog but is having trouble getting it off center. I shared your link with her and told her what a legend you are in the land of delicious blogs! I told her how full of sage knowledge you are for a newbie blogger...so if she contacts you with a million and one questions, I sent her...because YOU ARE AWESOME! Hope you don't mind!

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    1. YIKES, Jen, that's a little intimidating (not the bark, it's simple) but to come so highly recommended by one of the funniest bloggers I know. I think I'm more a "stressing" blog than a "baking" blog but I certainly will help your friend in any way I can.

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  6. Lovely post. :) I've been looking for a recipe for bark, I'll be trying yours. xo

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    1. Hope you like it, my kids eat this bark as fast as I make it.

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  7. Awww love to read stories like these! And that peppermint bark looks amazing! Too bad I can't bake.

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    1. You can SO make this bark, you don't have to be able to bake, just melt chocolate. You must try it, I'll look forward to the post on how you screwed up melting chocolate.

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    2. Haha! Thanks for the vote of confidence there Karen! LOL!!! Oh and I actually did ruin melted chocolate once. I tried to melt it in my fondue pot and it turned into a disgusting mess of crap. We had pretzels, marshmallows and all kinds of stuff waiting to dip into the chocolate and the kids were crying and upset that we had to dump out the chocolate. Yeah, it was a disaster!

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    3. HaHa. Did I call it or what?

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  8. Blogging has been a lifesaver for me. I'm so glad you've found your place in the world of it. Bonnie sounds like an angel! Thanks for the swaps and fly-on-the-walls and including all of us in your blog-circle. Love to you :)

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    1. Couldn't have done it without you. You were my first bloggy friend and my muse for the Subject Swap!

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  9. Bonnie is just awesome!! She's going to be a super blogger soon and we are so very thrilled and grateful to know her!!!

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    1. I do believe she's going to be s super blogger soon and I sure am grateful to know her.

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    2. Awww shucks Roshni!;) You're a doll just like Karen! I'm here for you gals whenever you need me!

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  10. Nice! Bonnie sounds totally awesome. I think it's amazingly sweet that she set up your site and everything for you. That's what Brian does over here for me. He's my IT department.

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    1. Bonnie is totally awesome, everyone should have a Bonnie in their life.

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  11. I'm so glad you shared this because I always have tons of questions about my blog set up----I've only been using a computer for a year (dinosaur that I am) and am constantly badgering my teenager to help me with it. I bribe him with chocolate and pizza.....does Bonnie like chocolate and pizza??? Anyway, I'll be sure to contact her next time I get stuck and see if she has any advice for me. You really found a gem in her and I feel that I have found gem in you! XOXO

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    1. You should check out her site, she's got great tutorials to help enhance your blog, and if you have a question, ask and she'll answer. With all these gems around here we should all be sparkling like diamonds!

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  12. Beautiful post dedication to Bonnie! Loved our peppermint bark recipe!

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    1. Thanks Chewy, you must try the bark it's delish.

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  13. I love this pay it forward idea. I am a firm believer that you get back what you put out there. I can't wait to check out Bonnie's page. I need some help in the making my blog be awesome department. It's good to have friends with knowledge about baking and blogging and life.

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    1. I hope you get back what you put out there because that would me an that Bonnie's due for a whole lotta love.

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  14. Karen! You are amazing also and I see great things in your blogging future. You are a very talented woman and I didn't want the issues you were having with your blog to discourage you. I'll always be here for you whenever you need me and I really, really appreciate this post. It's so sweet and made me tear up a bit! :)

    I'm so glad that we met each other here in the blogosphere! You are a true friend. xo

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    1. I'm glad we met too. You gave me my blog back. I'm so grateful.

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  15. Blog friends are one of the main reasons I continue to blog! And, finding recipes to swoon over like you peppermint bark, of course!

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    1. I agree, blog friends make my day, frequently. I hope you try the bark, it's really good, and perfect for holiday time.

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  16. I'm fairly new to the blogging world - getting "serious" about three or four months ago. I'm trying to find out where I fit in, still haven't found it. I talk about family, fitness, and stream of consciousness.

    Love that you're on BlogLovin'! Makes it easier to come back and visit!

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    1. Figuring out where you fit in takes time. It's about seeing who you want to read most frequently, and seeing who keeps coming back to your blog. The great thing is that there's a place for everyone.

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  17. Bonnie is brilliant. I came across her a short while ago, and her blog really is very easy to understand and follow with many good tips for the novice like me. She really does respond to your comments and I've sent a few people her way too.

    It's good to know that there are kind people out there who are willing to help others without question.

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    1. I send people her way all the time too. Especially this time of year it's good to be reminded that there is great value in helping others, and in paying it forward.

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  18. You are one of the most selfless bloggers I have ever come across. You give and promote and encourage. Anyone who comes iin contact with you is blessed. Thank you! xx

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    1. Wow, that's pretty high praise. Thank you for making my day.

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  19. Nice post! I am still figuring out what my blog is - humorous, lifestyle, or a combo. Bonnie is terrific and has helped me out too with my first blog. I'm still a newbie.

    Hmmm.... logo/button is something I might try.

    Oh yeah, I'll take some of that peppermint bark too!

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    1. I'm a newbie too, and Bonnie is just who a newbie should get to know. Yes, you should work on a logo, people start to recognize your blog by its logo.

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  20. I have visited Bonnie's site many times. She really is a blogger's beat friend when it comes to tech stuff. I just sent someone from my local bloggers group to her site. I had a question about going anonymous and she very quickly stepped up and told me how. Her site should be on every bloggers bookmark.

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    1. Yes, I really can't thank her enough for all she did for me.

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  21. I'm a little behind with my blog reading and am trying to catch up now. I just read this and she sounds amazing and I am definitely going to visit her blog and not only! Isn't it wonderful to receive such warm, friendly gestures from people you don't even know!?! You sure deserved it though, you've been nice with me, too (helping, promoting and encouraging me )since my (second) beginning! You do good, you receive good! I'm glad you're my bloggy friend!!!

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    1. Thanks, Vicky, I'm glad to "know" you too.

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