Blog-a-versary tea party and GIVEAWAY

Friday, February 28, 2014

Welcome to my three-month blog-a-versary tea party and GIVEAWAY. What's that, you say? You bloggers who have been at this four, five, six, or more years? A three-month blog-a-versary?! Seriously?!


Well, let me tell ya. I've read that most blogs don't last more than three months, and here I am, still blogging with no thought of throwing in the towel. I love it. So I thought I'd throw a little virtual party as a celebration.


My daughter was baking red velvet cupcakes a couple days ago for a party, so I "borrowed" some and poured some "champagne" (sparkling cranberry juice and ginger ale) to take some pictures. Well then, of course we had to eat the cupcakes and toast the blog together. My virtual party got real.

{FYI: She doubled the recipe for the cupcakes before realizing she didn't have enough red food coloring -- she needed six tablespoons. She only had three. But I thought the color was really pretty and looked red, not the dark reddish brown color that they usually are. If you like this color, halve the food coloring. The recipe is here.}


Then we had tea.

I cut the roses down for these next pictures.
The tea cup below is one my husband usually chooses if we have tea together. I suppose it's a little more masculine than my (mainly) pink cups. It is Royal Albert. 


The cup below is Queen's Louise.



As we were enjoying tea, look at what arrived. A box from Shawn at Poetry in a Pot of Tea. {Yes, I'm embarrassed to admit, I won two giveaway drawings during the Grow Your Blog party!} Shawn makes beautiful paper crafts. She sent me a lovely handmade card, tea, chocolate, and a cute little hand sanitizer. Look at how festive the packaging is. Love the bow on the tea.


Here's the card she made. And how appropriate! Another cupcake for my blog-a-versary! Thank you Shawn.


**** Blog-a-versary GIVEAWAY ****

I had so much fun giving away goodies for the Grow Your Blog event a few weeks ago (and getting them!), that I want to do it again. Here are the lovely prizes . . .


A beautiful colclough bone china tea cup in a buttery yellow and a sweet little vintage linen towel, both sourced from our local antique mall yesterday.



So here are The Rules . . . 

Leave a comment and let me know you are following me (if you're not following me, now would be a good time . . . ).

For a second chance to win, please help me out with some advice. If you are not a blogger, what do you like here? What makes you want to come back? If you are a blogger, what have you learned in your years of blogging that you wished you knew in the beginning?  Do you have any technical hints, like how to put watermarks on your photos? (I am sure there is a faster way than what I'm doing.) How do you handle comments? Do you respond to every one, or do you go visit them and comment there instead? What do you think about advertising? Any other helpful advice? Looking forward to hearing your ideas.

I will keep this open for a couple weeks and announce the winner, drawn randomly, on March 17.




(happy three months to you . . . dear bloggy . . .)

Linking with . . .

Anything Blue Friday

Home Sweet Home

47 comments :

  1. Congratulations on the 3 mos. of blogging! I never heard that statisic before- I've been plugging away for 3 1/2 yrs now. The red velvet cupcakes look so good- I made a red velvet cake around Valentine's Day and it didn't last long! That's so nice how you won two different give-aways! That's a very pretty give-away you are offering, but I'll let someone else at it since I'm not a tea drinker.

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    1. thank you Liz. Three and a half years is dedication!

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  2. Congratulations on your blogversary! Blogging takes a huge amount of time and creativity, so any milestone (3 months, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years) is worth celebrating! Your teacups are beautiful, and the cupcakes look delish! I saw where Sonic is now featuring a red velvet molten cake sundae. I haven't tried one, but I bet it's yummy (their turtle one is).

    I only recently discovered your blog, but I signed up to follow on my very first visit. I think your site is beautiful!

    Although I now only have a classic film blog, which just celebrated its 3-year anniversary this month, I have been blogging since 2006. That original blog changed as the seasons of my life changed. In the beginning, I was a homeschooling mom on the path to adopt more children, and my blog reflected those passions. As my kids finished high school and our adoption fell through, I took on a "beautiful things" decorating kind of blog. Eventually, because I couldn't keep up with 2 blogs and really wanted to focus on classic film blogging, I abandoned my "beautiful things" blog. I miss it, though, and have considered resurrecting it.

    I look at blogging like having a conversation with a friend, thus, I respond to every comment I get. If a person has taken the time to share their thoughts with me, then I want to respond to them. After all, talking to oneself isn't very satisfying. I also visit the blogs of those who visit me. No, not every post, but I try to stop by on a regular basis. I just find that to be good manners. I mean, if someone came to my house (blog), yet I never was willing to go to theirs, that is rather a 1-sided relationship.

    So, I guess what I've learned through the years of blogging is that to have a friend, one must be a friend. I blog for relationships, not numbers anyhow. I would much rather really know a few regular, faithful readers than have thousands of people "following" me.

    Thanks for your visit to my classic film blog. If I ever resurrect my "beautiful things" blog, which was entitled "Fill My Cup with Beauty," I will let you know.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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    1. thanks for your kind words Patti. I just wonder if people come back to my blog to look for my replies to their comments. I don't always go back to look for replies to my comments on others' blogs. In any case, I do want to connect with those who comment. Just wondering the best way.
      I look forward to following your classic film reviews!

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    2. Deborah, I don't go back to a blog to look for a response to my comment; instead, I "subscribe" to the comments by hitting the "notify me" section in the comment. That way, all future comments to that post are emailed to me. In the case of this post, that may mean a lot of mail in my inbox, but I don't read them all...only the response to what I have said. Like Beth, though, I will still visit the other person's blog.

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  3. Deborah, It's hard to believe you are a brand new blogger. Your blog is so professional, so beautifully done! You asked about responding to commenters. This is my opinion. There are basically 3 ways you can respond to comments: 1) You can go to their blog and leave a comment back (this to me is the friendliest way); 2) You can set your comments to come to your email, and then comment back by emailing back; or 3) You can leave a comment on your own blog post back to them. I don't care for the third option. You see, I follow around 90 blogs. After I've read a post on one of these, I do not go back to the post I've already read and read through the comments to see if there was a response to my comment. Maybe some people do, but to me it is a waste of time to read someone's same post more than once just to see if I got a comment back. If someone asks a specific question, I answer it in the email. I also like to go and visit their blogs although not every time, for every comment. Advertising is ok by me although I'm not sure how lucrative it is. I know it is lucrative for some of the bloggers who have many followers. I don't like when I go to someone's blog and a big ad sails in over the content and I have to close it out to read the blog post. I find that annoying. I've been blogging for about 4 years now and have made a lot of blogging buddies over the years. It's been a worthwhile hobby for me. Good luck to you, and thanks for sponsoring the giveaway. :)
    I have been a follower of The Beautiful Matters since I discovered it at the Grow Your Blog party.
    Well done, Deborah!!!

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    1. thank you Beth! Your answer about the comments is exactly what I've been thinking. Your option #1 seems best. Except when the comment is from a non-blogger, then I would reply in my comment section. 90 blogs is a lot to follow!! But I have to say I don't find it surprising since there are so many beautiful blogs out there. (oops, you won't be checking back here to read this!! -- haha!)

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    2. Hi Deborah! Every "rule" has an exception! ha ha ha There are indeed many beautiful blogs and it seems I'm discovering more interesting ones all the time! You had also asked about watermarking. I don't always do it, but when I do I use PicMonkey. It seems to work fine.
      Hugs, Beth

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  4. Congratulations on your three months of successful blogging. As Beth pointed out above, it's hard to believe that you've not been at this longer. I keep planning on a blog, but have yet to get it "out" there. So, I've been looking at the blogs of others and there are a few that I've been following for some time now. I'm no expert (obviously!), but I think you're doing a fabulous job already! Your images are lovely, and I've enjoyed this virtual tea time. Been following you for a couple of weeks, and while it would be so nice to win that beautiful teacup and linen, I would understand if you chose someone who could share it on their blog! Have a great day!

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    1. You will certainly be in my drawing -- it's not just for bloggers! Thanks for your kind comment! I feel honored to know people are actually reading my blog!

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  5. Deborah, Congratulations! I really like reading your posts and seeing what you are doing. You have a really pretty blog and it is inspiring to read. I am following you and would like to be entered in your drawing. Thanks!

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  6. Deborah- What a lovely giveaway! Congratulations on your 3 month anniversary! I'm a follower and happy to be doing so.;) I love your blog because of your gorgeous pictures, lovely words and the way you make everyone feel welcome and special. By the way, that was nail polish in the picture on my blog! They are edible nail polish treats made from glittered sprinkle marshmallows and tootsie rolls for the handle. They are darling, don't you think?:) Lori

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  7. OMGoodness sweet Debra, I wouldn't think you are blogging only 3 MONTHS! You've made such an impact on all of us and it looks like you were a naural! I was a mess at the beginning, not like you a perfect pro! Congrats and yes, I wouldn't throw the towel ever, so I'm happy we'll see each other a lot, still! I love your tea post for the celeb, the dishes are gorgeous and everything you've done. I love the red cupcakes from your DD. Beautiful images of everything. Thank you so much for the gorgeous giveaway chance...cross my fingers!!!
    Love,
    FABBY

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  8. Thank you for your sweet and kind wishes for our anniversary too...I almost forgot to thank you, goodness gracious!
    FABBY

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  9. Hello Deborah
    I've been following you since we met through Vickie's party and I like to come back for the interesting posts you share. Congratulations on achieving three months!
    Comments on my blog come through to my email and that is usually how I respond, if I have something further to share. I never go back to a post to check for a reply and unfortunately because of time, I don't always get around to everyone that leaves a comment.
    The teacup and lacy towel are charming and I'd love to be entered in your giveaway please.
    Judith

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  10. Hello Deborah! So glad you liked your package of 'happies'- it was fun to send it to you and I made the card with you in mind. It's blank so you can write your own sentiment. Congrats on your blogging anniversary. Your blog looks great! I use PicMonkey to watermark my photos. Have a great weekend :)
    Shawn

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  11. KUDOS - I still remember my first three months (5+ years ago with SandwichINK.com :) ), and how much easier it was getting. And fun. Have you heard of the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party - it's coming again in April. I did my first one just a few months after I started and thoroughly enjoyed it - and still do. Love to see you there as well :) And OH what lovely photos! Thanks for sharing them via The Dedicated House :)

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  12. Congratulations on your Blogaversary! I'm new to the blogging world, as well (haven't finished my first year yet). Responding to comments is still an issue: the only way readers know if I've responded (and I usually do) is if they go back to the blog and re-read it all. I still have so much to learn. Where did you find out about the "Grow Your Blog" party? Love your postings and photos. The best of luck for a long blogging adventure! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

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  13. Hello Deborah,

    Congratulations on your three months. I did not know that you have only been blogging for such a short time. It does not appear that way. I have to agree with the previous comments, your blog is beautiful and filled with gorgeous images. I also enjoy reading your posts. As for responding to comments on my blog, I prefer to leave a comment back. I have been blogging for a year now. Mostly part-time because I do have a full time job, and I still learning something new everyday. I do get plenty of enjoyment from my blog but my favorite part of blogging has been the connecting with women that share the same interests and creativity. It is such an inspiring and beautiful world. Best of luck. I know you will be amazing at anything you do.

    Janet

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  15. It doesn't seem like just three months since you first started your lovely blog, Deborah. Beauty shimmers through your posts. Thank you for inspiring me to make my home a place of beauty. So far I've really enjoyed all of your blogs. I especially like your vintage ones, like the vintage perfume blog, but I also liked your mascara blog and the sparkling nail blogs! Your pictures are special: the lace, the table settings, the fragile, dainty tea cups, the pine tree centerpiece with the red-plaid teddy bear. Thank you, dear friend, you are truly an artist at heart. Beth P.S. I REALLY liked it when you brought in art history, and other thoughts. As you can tell, I am following them all.

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  16. Congrats Deborah, you do have a beautiful blog and banner at the top. The cupcakes do look delish. We had a red velvet cake for Valentine's Day and it was gone quickly. Sweet giveaway. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Deborah, I forgot to say I don't reply on my blog posts but instead reply to the email that comes to my inbox. That way my response is a little more personal.

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  18. Deborah,
    Beautiful blog and such a lovely 3 month anniversary celebration! I am visiting from Dwellings-
    Have a lovely week,
    Jemma

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  19. Yea for three months and what a lovely giveaway. I'm already a follower of yours and appreciate the opportunity to win.
    I usually go to the person's blog and visit that way, but sometimes will comment through email if they're not a "no reply blogger". Someone told me long ago to remove word verification, which I had no idea what it was!
    Your blog is lovely and I always enjoy visiting. xo

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  20. Hi and happy blogaversary! I'm a follower and love teacups! I must have missed this post while life was happening the past weeks....
    Ruth

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  21. Copngratulations! I am now following by email. I have several Colclough teacups, so that pretty yellow one needs to join my family!

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  22. I enjoy looking at your blog because you show some of the same beautiful things that I love--teacups, vintage linens, lovely roses, etc.

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  23. I don't know how to get rid of the "Reply Delete". Can anyone help me?

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  24. Congratulations on your three months of blogging, Deborah! When I first start to blog, I was scared to death! It took me months to feel like I fit in because the blogs I visited were so beautiful and the photography was amazing. But I have learned and I continue to learn to just be myself, relax and share what I love. Other bloggers have taught me so much and I am truly thankful for them. I enjoy your blog because we share similar interests and I too love all things beautiful. I am a follower and happy to be one. Thank you for your lovely Giveway. It will make someone very happy to win it. {Hope it's me!} Thank you for sharing and joining me for tea.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  25. Deborah,
    This is such a beautiful giveaway!! Please count me in. That is the most lovely shade of yellow for a teacup and towel!
    For the advice: Well I have been blogging for over 4 years and things have changed a lot for me personally. I am busier at home now than when I started to blog so in the beginning I could do a furniture makeover, etc and blog about it now, now such time to do things like that. I don't really enjoy redoing furniture anyway. So, my undiscovered passion has come to the forefront of my blogging and that is having tea. I tried so hard to blog about everything, never wanting to loose any viewer by not including everything in my blogging. But, with the addition of Pinterest two years ago it started to become clearer what people were looking for when they visited my blog, and recipes were far above the other things I was putting huge amounts of time into. I am trying to say that you should blog about what your passionate about and the rest will take care of itself. Funny thing for me was I didn't really know what my passion was till I explored lots of different things and it has taken me 4 years to get to this revelation. But, I am comfortable now with the plan to mainly do recipes and cottage teas. I just love them! That's all I know!:) Best of luck with your blogging!
    Sherry

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  26. Oh, And Happy Blogaversary! I agree with the others it is hard to tell your a new blogger. Your blog is beautiful!
    Sherry

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  27. Hi and Happy Blogaversary! You have a wonderful blog. Looking forward to getting to know you better. Blessings, Martha

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  28. Congrats on the anniversary and I especially love tea time blogging! Your cups and saucers are wonderful and what a lovely setting!

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  29. congratulations on your blogoversary.. this is an awesome giveaway... thank you so much.. I prefer replying to each and every comment on my blog..
    -Berina
    Moxie Craftie

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  30. Glad you are enjoying your three month anniversary! The blog is so beautiful and I believe you are doiing a fabulous job. Your photos are so lovely! My only advice is enjoy your blog and keep doing what your doing. I found you from your link to Rose Chintz Cottage! Have a good tea time and I will be looking forward to your next post!

    Pam

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  31. Congrats on your 3 month anniversary! Your blog has some of my favorite subjects: finding beautiful things such as teacups and linens, and then enjoying them! I followed your link from Bernideen's Tea Time blog. Thanks for the lovely giveaway to celebrate!

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  32. Congrats on your 3 months! That is fun to celebrate! Your cups and saucers are really beautiful and I am glad you won nice things!

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  33. congratulations on your blogiversary - I hope you have many, many more months and years to share! I do appreciate you sharing with A Return to Loveliness,
    Kathy

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  34. Congratulations to making it to the three month mark! I like pretty photos, and you certainly have that!

    There is a way to email reply. If you have it set up, and the person you are responding to has it set up, it your response goes to their e-mail. xoxo

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  35. Happy Blogiversary! I agree with everyone else--your blog is lovely. I am especially jealous of your header. Please count me in for your beautiful give-away :)

    You asked great questions and the answers people have given are helping me! (I'm not a year old yet either.) I respond to comments on my blog, and then I visit the commentor's blog and leave a relevant note there. I do think it's the polite thing to do, though not everyone else in the blog world appears to think so(!).

    Whenever I leave a comment, I click "Notify me" in order to get any responses. Google also notifies me of any responses from Google+ friends.

    Regarding watermarks, I don't put them on every photo, just the high quality ones or those that I'm posting on Pinterest. I use PicMonkey to add text or watermark--it's super easy.

    One thing someone told me about three months in is that my photos weren't big enough. I'm much happier now that I've gone to ex-large sized photos.

    Thanks for visiting me today,
    Diana
    Adirondack Girl @ Heart

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  36. Now a girl can never have too many teacups.
    Please enter me! I will head over and follow right now.
    Advice: Hummm? Be consistent in your posts for sure
    and then if you have to take a vacation from blogging for awhile,
    let your readers know that.

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  37. Congrats! I didn't realize that most blogs only last 3 months. I started blogging in 2009, just for family. Didn't visit other blogs until 20ll. Had no idea how huge the blog world was. I still am learning and really don't know a lot. I love the connection that we get with other bloggers. I try to respond to my comments, but sometimes life gets in the way. I always hope that other bloggers understand. I love blogging and the friends I have made. I do think it's important to blog every few days so that people don't forget you. lol! Love the teacup! Thanks for the give away.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  38. You have a very nice blog / surprised to hear that you've only been at it for three months. It's nice and polished ! : ) I'll answer one of your questions about visiting and such. If a person has a very specific question I will answer on the blog but usually email them as well. Other than that I don't answer...I just try to visit back within a day or two. Reason is...I doubt they are going to run back to my post just to see me say "Thank You" or something....though if I see that they are a reader without a blog, I'll reply on the blog. Hope that makes sense : )

    I don't watermark my photos. I suppose if someone steals one the world won't end, but generally I find that here and there a person will request using one and they'll contact me in comments or email about that. I have a spiderweb photo that a professor requested using for a scholarly paper on biomass something or other not too long ago and I gave permission..I suppose that he found it on Google Images. When people do find images on Google to use, the image always goes back to the source anyway : )

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  39. This is a delightful give-away and I've followed you since Vicki's GYBP. I use Picasa for photo watermarks and think you're wise to use a watermark. Should someone pin you or use your photo, it lets viewers know where to find you. My watermark is simply "Thistle Cove Farm".

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  40. Deborah, when you leave a comment on someone's blog, you've got your reply set to "no reply". No one is able to respond to your comment...changing that would allow folks to send you a response. I do have another bit of advice to give you but don't want it to be public. If you're interested, send me a PM and give me your e-address so I can let you know.

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