Blogger Tip Tuesday: How to Start a Blog

Happy Blogger Tip Tuesday! Today, I’m debuting a new “how to start a blog” page on Eat Pray Run DC and thought the contents of that page may be very helpful for someone who is considering starting a blog. So this week’s Blogger Tip Tuesday is going back to basics! If you want to start a blog but have no idea where to start, this post is for you. And you can find this information permanently on my new page

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  • Domain and Hosting. The very first step is one of the most fun steps, in my opinion. You get to pick the name of your blog! Start by going to the Bluehost website. Click here to get there. Your domain is basically the name of your blog – your address, if you will. My blog domain ishttp://eatprayrundc.com. You will spend a lot of time staring at your domain and you want a great blog name that will draw in readers. Once you have gotten a few ideas for your domain name (in case your number one choice is already in use), head over to Bluehost.

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Click the “get started now” link and you’ll see this…

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Once you’ve entered in your domain name (with a .com ending), click the next button. 

 

Fill in all that information and then you’ll need to purchase your hosting package. If we think of your domain as your web address, then your host is your neighborhood where you home is located. I chose to host Eat Pray Run DC with Bluehost for numerous reasons: 1) they have excellent customer service, 2) setup is so easy, 3) your domain name is free, 4) unlimited space!!, 5) did I mention excellent customer service, 6) quality, and 7) the setup was so easy. Once you’ve entered in all your account information you’ll see this screen:

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In terms of how long of a package to sign up for, that’s up to you. I signed up for one year initially, but when my year is up, I’m going to renew for the cheapest rate (which is 3 years). Signing up for site backup pro, domain security and domain privacy protection is entirely up to you — I didn’t and I’ve been fine (but I do use an online backup system). Once you’ve made all those choices, you’ll be taken to the payment screen. 

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You’ve made it this far and are doing great — now you’re moving on to step two!

 

  • Install WordPress. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform. You have probably seen many bloggers post about transferring from another platform (like blogger / tumblr/ etc.) to wordpress because wordpress is so widely used and so user friendly. It just makes sense to start off with wordpress since the transition process from another platform can be onerous. Once you are logged in to your bluehost account (you should have received an email with login instructions after setting everything up in step one), you will go to website builders and click on wordpress.

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You’ll see the screen below and click on “install.” 

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You’ll be asked which domain you want to install wordpress on and your brand new domain should already populated in the box. Leave that box next to it blank. 

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After you click the green “check domain” button, you are almost done! When the next screen pops up, make sure that the “show advanced options” box is checked. Fill out all the boxes and make sure you write down your admin username, email address and passsword. Keep this information someplace safe! Click the box to agree to the terms and conditions and then click “install now!” You are done with all the technical stuff!!! 

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  • Choose your Theme. After giving yourself a huge pat on the back for rocking steps one and two, you are on to the easy (but somewhat overwhelming) part! A theme is how your blog gets all pretty and looks so nice and awesome. I recommend starting with a free theme — wordpress has a ton and you can find them here. When you’re ready to move to a paid theme, many folks like the Genesis framework to build their site. You can find that here. I currently run Eat Pray Run DC on a free theme, but that may change in the future. 

You did it! You now have a functioning blog — enjoy your new blogging adventure! 

 

 

Navy Air Force Half Training Recap, Week Four

Well this was an interesting training week. This training recap is a bit shorter than normal because I skipped one run this past week. I slept terribly numerous nights in a row and was out of town this past weekend so I skipped my long run, added an easy run and moved my tempo run to this morning. 

Tuesday – track day, 2×1200 at 8:34 pace, 4×800 @ 8:20 pace. We were going to do this at the track, like we usually do but a nasty storm rolled in. Luckily, Nevie’s gym was right around the corner and they were hosting free gym days so we were able to get our track work done on the treadmill. I must say that for as much as I hate the treadmill, it was nice to have air conditioning while doing those laps. This was the first time in almost a month that we nailed our paces and that part was nice, too! [Please excuse the blurry action shot -- I thought about not posting it but I kinda love it!]

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Friday – easy run. I had planned on moving my long run from Saturday to Friday because I was in New Orleans last weekend. But…Thursday night happy hour led to Friday’s run being an easy 5k. It felt good and even though it wasn’t what I’d planned, it was fun because there are no “easy” runs in Run Less Run Faster, so this was the first one I’d had in awhile. 

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Monday- tempo run. 1 mile easy, 2 miles tempo pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles tempo. I modified this and cut the easy mile in the middle down to a 4 min walk break to save time since this was this morning before work. The whole run ended up averaging 8:55 pace. Here are the splits: 9:28 (easy warmup mile), 8:39, 8:25, 8:58, 9:01, 4:38 (for the half mile). The humidity was back with a vengeance and this wasn’t easy but Julie and I pushed through.

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While this week had some unanticipated changes, it was still a good week in terms of hitting my paces. I don’t like missing long runs, but missing one won’t kill me!

How was your week of training?

Friday Five: Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I’m excited because this weekend I’m heading to New Orleans (more on that later!). Per usual, I’m linking up with Mar and Cynthia and today we are sharing our Friday Favorites. Enjoy and make sure to link up your Friday Five post. You can read our linkup rules here. Please note that if you don’t play nicely, we will delete your link. 

Friday Five-

  1. New Orleans! Like I mentioned, I’m going to New Orleans this weekend. I’m celebrating the bachelorette weekends of one of my dear friends (and bridesmaids), Megan. Megan and I met in law school and have been friends ever since. She lives in Atlanta and between weddings, my college reunion and the like, we’ve seen each other every month since April. I’m so excited to have a great time celebrating this gal!
  2. From the Farmer. This is a new delivery service that is meant to be farm to front door. I just signed up for my first delivery and I’m excited to try it out! I love the convenience of having fresh veggies and fruits delivered but honestly, I love going to the farmers market each weekend so I probably won’t get the delivery regularly. 
  3. Lower humidity! The polar vortex in DC this week has meant that the humidity is below 50% which is AMAZING!!! 
  4. Speaking of bachelorette, my fav show, The Bachelorette is coming up on its finale! Andi is down to two men, Josh and Nick. My money is on Josh — if you watch (and come on, you know you do!), who do you think she chooses? No spoilers, please!
  5. Travel. K and I are readying for an epic road trip to Atlanta next month, a beach weekend and, oh yeah, planning our honeymoon. I’m so excited about all our travel and about finalizing our honeymoon details. Ironically, this week, The Bachelorette was in DR, where we will be honeymooning. Yay! 

What’s exciting you right now??

 

Real Talk: Street Harassment

“Hey mami, can I run with you?” 

“You got those track thighs, girl.”

“[Insert loud cheering, hollaring and general whistles directed my way]”

Chances are, if you are a woman, and walk/run pretty much anywhere (but especially in a major city), you’ve experienced exchanges like the ones I quoted above. For numerous reasons (none of which I truly understand), men often feel compelled to comment on the bodies of women they don’t know. I even had a guy say something inappropriate to me last Sunday as I was walking home from church — what killed me is that he was clearly leaving church (NOT my church) as well. UGH. I think that most men who do this don’t even think twice about it. Honestly, sometimes I don’t, either. Sometimes the most innocuous of the comments roll off my back and I imagine it’s this guy just saying hello…

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But most of the time, I’m annoyed. Annoyed that someone feels that they have the right to comment on my thighs, my run, on me. Annoyed that this same man would be irate if someone repeated his comments to his mother, sister, wife, etc. Annoyed because I shouldn’t have to walk or run down the street and deal with this stuff. 

I should point out here that sometimes when I’m walking or running, I will receive an actual compliment. Compliments are those statements along the lines of “good form,” “keep it up,” “nice dress,” or just more general greetings and acknowledgments like “hello.” I never mind things like that. But anything that references my shape, body, or any of that is not a compliment. And it shouldn’t be a part of my morning run. 

Have you experienced this? How do you handle it? 

Wedding Wednesday: If I were a wedding vendor…

It’s Wedding Wednesday and today I wanted to share what I would do differently if I were a wedding vendor. I spent so much time researching vendors and  a lot of that time I was seriously frustrated with the process. So I’ve thought about it and will share what I wish all vendors would do! Per usual, I’m linking up with JordonMeredith and Mary and hope you’ll check out their blogs

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Things I would do if I were a wedding vendor:

  • List my prices! This was my number one complaint while looking for a vendor. I hated finding a vendor who seemed amazing and searching in vein on the website only to find NO indication of prices. I understand that vendors don’t want to put all their rates on their website…but given an average price (i.e. “our brides usually spend 2000 on photography.”) doesn’t hurt! I wasted a lot  of time on vendors that were just simply not in the budget. Ugh. This was my biggest pet peeve. 
  • Update my website. There are SO many vendors that have out of date websites and it honestly just turned me off so so much. If I’m going to consider spending thousands of dollars on your services, please have an updated website (with NO music playing! There is not an exception to this if you often book weddings — NO ONE likes this!). 
  • Respond to emails PROMPTLY. While I was in the middle of the planning process, I had a number of vendors who took their time getting back to me. I don’t expect an immediate turn around, but honestly, if I don’t hear from you in 24 hours and it’s during the work week, I’m not interested. That’s just good business in my mind. 
  • Have a blog. It was really cool to be able to read blog posts from vendors that we were considering – it helped me to get a deeper understanding of the vendor’s style and made some decisions much easier. Especially for vendors like the photographer, with whom you will be spending a lot of time with, you want to try and get to know them the best you can. A blog can help with that! 

What would you do if you were a wedding vendor?

 

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Wedding Wednesday

Blogger Tip Tuesday: Using Twitter Lists

It’s Blogger Tip Tuesday and this week I’m talking about using Twitter lists. Do you use Twitter? Do you follow more than 100 people? Than you should probably think about how to manage your Twitter account. What do I mean by “manage your Twitter account?” Read on! 

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Once I started following hundreds (now over a thousand) of people on Twitter, I began to get overwhelmed. I mean, it was (and is) a LOT to keep up with. Finally, I saw someone reference Twitter lists and I got curious. It turns out, by using TweetDeck (and other services, I’m sure, but I use TweetDeck) you can create lists of the people you follow and then have an easy way to read those people’s tweets. This is so, so simple. Let me show you how it works:

First you’ll need to click the Twitter handle of the person you’d like to add to a list. Then you click on the icon that looks like a little person. That brings up a drop down menu where you can click “add or remove from lists.”

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Then you will see a list where you can choose what list to add your follower to (or you can create a new list). 

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You can do this with all your followers and help to streamline your Twitter timeline. I like to use lists so that I don’t miss tweets from my personal friends but still get a glimpse of my larger timeline. Honestly, with so many people that I follower, lists are the only way to manage my social media time. 

Do you use lists to manage your Twitter account? 

Navy Air Force Half Marathon Training, Week 3

Another week of half marathon training in the books. Some of these pics are from Friday’s Fitness Snapshots post so you may have seen them, but there’s a bit more detail about my actual workouts. 

Tuesday: track day – 3×1600 at 8:35 pace. This week was another hot one and so we switched our track work to the morning instead of the evening. It was tough, as I knew it would be. My garmin saved the first two miles while we were breaking before the third one so that’s why there are two separate pictures. Splits: 8:55, 8:40, 8:43. I continue to just not quite be able to hit my track paces, but given the weather and humidity, I’m not beating myself up about it. It was a tough workout and I’m proud that Julie and I got it done. 

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Thursday: tempo run, 6 miles at 9:38 (plus warmup and cooldown). Julie’s shins started to really bother her on Tuesday and so she took a few days off of running — which meant I was on my own. I was not very confident about this run and dreading doing it alone. Mentally, it was tough and I was kind of bored since I had no one to talk to — but I got it done and once again, had some success with my splits: 9:27, 9:13, 9:09, 9:17, 9:41 (running up Capitol Hill), 9:25. Average pace was 9:22 and although it was tough, it’s good to have a mentally tough run every once in awhile. Spoiler alert: this would not be the only mentally challenging run of the week. 

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Saturday: long run day – 11 miles at 10:13. Since the tempo and long runs have been so successful, I’m going to start dropping those goal times to get them closer to goal pace for race day. Saturday I was planning on testing this out, with a goal pace in the 9:40s. So really goal pace for the run was anywhere in the 9:40-9:55 range. Oh man. This run was a struggle from the beginning. I put my camelbak in the freezer the night before (as I often do). Normally, the next morning when I wake up, I put it outside so that it begins to melt. I forgot about it until it was time to leave the house. It was rock solid and a total heavy as heck brick. It really added weight and was a struggle to get water from the whole run. Ugh. By mile 5, I was just mentally over the run. Also, it was hot and humid and we’ve been really lucky and had great weather with our long runs, so this was a rude awakening. I called the run after 9 miles and vowed to finish the final two miles the next day. Here are my splits: 10:15, 9:39, 9:38, 9:39, 10:08, 9:59, 10:09, 9:55, 9:45, 9:58 (Sunday mile), 9:15 (Sunday mile). I was all over the place and definitely would have quit much earlier on Saturday if not for Julie. Ugh. Just a bad run overall. Sunday’s make up miles were hot but fine because there was just two of them. 

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I’m glad to put this week’s runs behind me and move forward. 

How was your week in training? 

Friday Five: Fitness Snapshots

Happy Friday, y’all! Maybe because last week was short, this week has felt loonnng so I’m extra happy that it’s Friday! Per usual, I’m linking up with Mar and Cynthia and today we are sharing our fitness snapshots from the week! Enjoy and make sure to link up your Friday Five post. You can read our linkup rules here. Please note that if you don’t play nicely, we will delete your link. 

Friday Five- Fitness Snapshots!

 

Obviously this is gonna be a picture heavy post…here we go! 

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I usually run in the morning, so this evening run (necessitated because I was gone last weekend and we had switched around our tempo run to the weekend because we did our long run on July 4th) was way tougher that I thought it should be. But got it done!

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I cheated a tiny bit with this pic — I’m using the same pic for Monday and Friday since I’m having this post go live late Thursday (before my Friday barre class). However, if you follow me on instagram, you’ll know that I regularly go to barre class — I love it and it constantly challenges me!

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Um. I do not love mile repeats. That’s about all I’ll say about that (until my workout recap next week, anyway). 

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6 miles at long tempo pace. This was my first significant run solo in awhile and I missed by buddy, Julie. It was boring without anyone to talk to and it made me really appreciate having a great running buddy right up the street! 

Well…there’s my week. I’m so excited to see y’all’s week in fitness! Share away!

Friday Five Link Up

#DixieQuickTakes and my regular lunch routine

I take my lunch to work almost every single day. Sometimes it’s something simple like a sandwich, and sometimes it’s something more involved like my favorite pasta (recipe below). While I love taking my lunch, I do NOT love losing my lunch containers during my commute or having them sometimes never make it out of the work dishwasher…or the struggle to find the matching lid. 


The folks at Dixie understand this and have created an awesome solution: Dixie Quicktakes. The Quicktakes have attached lids, are BPA free and are recyclable AND affordable enough to throw out after using. I’ve been using them for my lunch this week and for breakfast (pictured below):

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Did I mention that Quicktakes are microwavable? Yep. They really are the most convenient for any lifestyle because you can choose to reuse them or throw them away after one use — it’s up to you! And because the lid is attached, you don’t have to worry about losing it or not being able to find the matching lid (story of my LIFE!). If you have kids, I imagine you could also use these for arts and crafts projects — I’m not really crafty so that’s not my thing but I know some of Y’ALL could do that :) 



 

Another awesome thing is that Quicktakes are super easy to buy on Amazon. I’m basically obsessed with Amazon and buy a ton of stuff off the site, so I was happy I could purchase my Quicktakes there. I also read a lot of the Amazon reviews before buying. You can read those here.

Check out this video showing all the ways you can use Quicktakes. I’m so glad I discovered this product, especially given that as I mentioned I take my lunch almost everyday. Speaking of lunch, here’s the recipe for my favorite summer pasta that I promised:

Easy Summer Pasta
Serves 4
A quick and easy summer pasta that is great for a reheatable lunch!
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Print
207 calories
9 g
45 g
13 g
14 g
8 g
96 g
396 g
1 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
96g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 207
Calories from Fat 113
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
20%
Saturated Fat 8g
38%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 45mg
15%
Sodium 396mg
17%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
13%
Vitamin C
7%
Calcium
30%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 box whole wheat pasta
  2. 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  3. 1 package of basil
  4. A handful of cherry tomatoes, diced
  5. Olive oil
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta, according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop up your mozzarella, basil and tomatoes.
  3. Once pasta is cooked, strain it and throw it into a large bowl.
  4. Toss with cheese, basil and tomatoes.
  5. Drizzle olive oil over pasta mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Enjoy!
  7. This pasta goes well with chicken, or sausage as well!
beta
calories
207
fat
13g
protein
14g
carbs
9g
more
Eat Pray Run DC http://eatprayrundc.com/

 I definitely took some of that pasta for lunch this week in my Quicktakes. And then, when I didn’t feel like bringing the container home, I tossed it. Easy peasy! I know I can’t be the only one who struggles with the never ending lid craziness — check out Quicktakes on Amazon and buy them for your family right here!

 Do you take your lunch? How do you transport it??

note: I was compensated by Markerly to write this sponsored post but the ideas, thoughts and sincere aappreciation of Dixie Quicktakes are all mine! I would never recommend a product that I hadn’t personally used and enjoyed.

Wedding Wednesday: Settling In

K and I have been married just over three weeks now and we are finally starting to settle in. The routines are being developed, we are (kind of) getting used to sharing a fairly small space and it’s all coming together. My sweet photographer hooked me up with a sneak peek of a couple of our pictures because I needed to submit one for my alumni magazine. So of course I’m sharing one of those pics here. I’m pretty excited to see the rest after viewing the preview pics! Anyway, that explains the picture that goes along with this post. Per usual, I’m linking up with JordonMeredith and Mary and hope you’ll check out their blogs

Wedding Wednesday- Settling In

 

As I mentioned, we are getting settled in. This has taken awhile (and is still in ongoing process) in part because we had some flooding in the back room of our home which required us to move everything out of that back room. The subsequent removal of carpet from that room and laying of tile meant that we still have quite a few belongings out of place. Out of place is basically my nightmare and it’s been a real challenge for me to cope with the clutter. That has definitely not helped with getting used to sharing a space with K! Thankfully, things are finally getting back in order and for that I’m grateful. 

How did you go about getting used to having a permanent roomie? 

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Wedding Wednesday

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