Posts tagged blog
Thanks.. to you.

Happy American Thanksgiving!! And apologies to my vegetarian/vegan/meatless friends who may find the picture below a little gross.

The turkey has been stuffed, roasted, basted, carved, gravy'd, and eaten. In fact we've gone all the way through the courses to both pies - pumpkin and pecan, and I am feeling overloaded. Overstuffed. Overeaten.

And a bit like my cup runneth over.

With gratitude.

Thanksgiving does that to me. It makes me gush a bit.

So bear with me. I started this wee blog nearly two years ago as a way to create and share and frankly force myself to get a lot of the projects that I've wanting to do ..done. And it has done that.

It has also brought into my life new connections and friends from across the globe and right in my own home town. People who somehow know me more or at least differently than some of my own family because they've taken the time to read my words, to look through my photographs, to follow my ideas. And that, my friends, is a pretty amazing gift.

And so this Thanksgiving toast (raise your wine glass or your milk glass with me) goes out to all of you good people who found Pars Caeli, found me, over these last two years and have supported me with your comments, your retweets, your likes, and even just your reads. You've encouraged me and pushed me in new directions just by the click of your mouse.

Time is our most precious gift, and I'm so grateful you've spent your time over on these pages. And even if you stop by just now and again and even if you've never let your presence be known, I'm grateful for you and your gift of attention. 

You rock.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo, MJ

PS. We're cutting down a tree in the freezing snow tomorrow. Wish me luck.


A site freshening


Remember when it was okay to go to a website and hit a symbol like this? The days of downtime and the days when the internet was not so essential.

Well, I have come to discover that blogging is an essential part of a happy life for me. At the same time, I am a stickler for a good aesthetic. So that leaves me to this lovely diamond post.

I've got some rearranging and dusting to do here at Pars Caeli to get us ready for the fall (my very favorite of all) so the blog will be out of commish for the next few days to get everything prettied up. I'll let you know via Twitter when we're all ready for visitors again (btw, are we chatting on Twitter yet? Let's do that. I'm at @parscaeli).

Thanks for the understanding. We're all a little under construction anyway, right?


An Itty Bitty Move

Happy day after Valentine's day, lovelies. Good things are happening all around. Are they over in your corner of the world, too? I hope so... sending some right now to you.

Just when I thought I was into the new groove and this blogging schedule thing, I'm switching it up. These Itty Bitty treats are moving. They'll now greet your week on Mondays. I'm hoping they'll inspire the simplest and most rewarding of projects and ideas as you set foot out into a new week.

Plus, I've kinda been missing our time together on Mondays. Just because.

So I'm saving some surprises for Monday. Catch ya then.

Wishing you a bright weekend.


Grown-Up Goodness: Blogging Better


Sometimes great things just fall in your lap.

Sometimes they come in lovely, unexpected emails. Like this.

Miss Paige over at Approaching Joy has been so good to me throughout this whole blogging journey, and the goodness just keeps coming. Yep, it's just who she is. And she's got a rocking new URL so go follow that happy link and check out girlfriend!

And, thanks for coming back..because Paige is helping me and all my blogger buds out with a super easy, way for us to blog better...and get the credit and traffic we deserve from all this online goodness.

Here's the beauty herself...and don't forget to watch that Vlog down there where you get to hear her, too!!

I had the opportunity to attend the Word Camp Fayetteville conference recently and highly recommend any kind of tech conference to anyone interested in blogging.  The sense of community there was amazing. If you'd like, you could check out my "How to Rock a Conference" post.   

Okay, enough shameless self plugs.

A big issue discussed by the community at the conference was that of watermarking. Though we all love Pinterest and the awesomeness that it brings to our computer screens, there is always the matter of making sure the original creator/ author / photographer gets the credit. If I were to see a snazzy pinnable from MJ on Pinterest (which I often do) I would want to be able to click on the picture and visit her site.  Chances are I would then fall in love with MJ's writing style and fun personality and be a follower for life.

But what if that process didn't happen just like that.  What if I saw MJ's image on Pinterest, clicked on it and saw it on another blogger's page?  That blogger (who was really trying to do the right thing because she always heard to credit images where she found them) credited the image back to Pinterest, leaving me am back where I started and not having had a chance to fall in love with MJ. Bummer.

There are two things we can do to prevent such bummers: 

  1. Always, always, always credit images back to their original source.  
    Saying something came from "Pinterest" just isn't good blogging business.
  2. Watermarking.
    If the image the was originally pinned from MJ's sight had a watermark I could easily see that, Google "Pars Caeli", and, of course, fall in love with MJ.

The question is: What's an easy way to watermark my images? 

Check out my video and I will show you how!  Together we can help the world realize that they need to fall in love with our content!  (Also: Click "full screen" to see this video in the way it's supposed to be viewed.)

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Isn't that easy?!?

Something that I didn't say in the video but is worth mentioning: The beauty of this is the ease for next time.  Once you have your brush made & saved, go into the brush options and click "Save Brushes".  By doing this, your watermark will come up every time you load Photoshop and from there all it takes is a click.

Last thing:  Don't be like me and watermark every third image.  By making this process easy I hope to personally get a more streamlined photo/image creation process with this always being my last step.

Try it out.  Let me know if it works or if you have any problems.  I'd love to help.


Thank you, Paige!!! I love the ease of a Photoshop brush with my logo. Look out for some crazy good watermarked images, my friends. I'm hoping to see yours, too!!

On this note of blogging better, I have been a very lucky girl this summer in meeting up with amazing blogger ladies like Amy and Melanie. I can't wait to tell you more about these visits in the upcoming weeks. Super affirming and inspirational!


Funday Fashion Monday: Summer at work

Happy, happy Monday, friends! I'm ready for a great week, how about you?? Last week was a very long one, with lots of hours logged in the office for me. I am SO grateful for the wonderful ladies who sat in to offer some amazing posts. In case you missed the week of fabulousness, check out Tara's post on life in Italy, Claire's wisdom on living in Ireland, Colleen's call to action and loving our neighbors, Claire's adorable DIY, and Paige's vlog on making Photoshop patterns from your children's artwork. These ladies really brought it. And I'm humbled and honored.

Since I've been working my hiney off, I've had summer work fashion on the brain. This week we return to Funday Fashion Monday with all the beauty and simplicity you can bring to the professional arena.

I like to keep it simple for the office with great pieces that will stand the test of time and trend. My favorite pick for you is that bright pink laptop sleeve (which I own in another shade). I swear by my Skooba bag for its durability and style. Carry it as a clutch sleeve or as a handled bag! My 17" MacBook doesn't go anywhere without the Skooba to hold it all together.

Summer is all about color, and I love what I see! This amazing shade of green comes from Mod Cloth and makes a statement all by itself.

Gladiator sandals are back again, and these are styled high. Funky enough to say summer and professional enough to wear over and over.

Kate Spade makes the best iPhone cases, and this gold and white striped case has enough bling to set the week off to bright start.

Finish it off with a fun stacked ring in sherbet shades.

I'm so happy to be back with you again, and I'm ready to get back into the swing of summer!! This week holds lots of fun surprises including a pool party here on the blog to celebrate the 4th of July. You gotta see it to believe it.

Thanks for popping over friends!! It's been so great to have you here.