Input on my blog please. Be nice, k?

PSSSST...I'm no longer blogging here!
You can now find me at


EDITED:  I've switched to veranda and darkened the font as well as lightened the background.  I added an 'email me' link over yonder.  And I won't be adding advertisers/sponsors anytime soon.
Thanks for all the input....keep it coming!
UPDATE #2:  Switched back to my beloved taupe...although I liked the blue, I think the pictures pop better on the lighter background, and gives the whole site a softer look....which is what I want to 'put out there'.
I also switched around some stuff on my sidebar.
Thank you all SOOOO much for the feedback.  I'm glad you all enjoy my little (blog)spot on the web, and I appreciate all the constructive criticism offered.  Please always feel free to email me (with my new button over there!) with suggestions to make my site better.

I've been at this since August, and I'm pretty amazed I even have readers.  But I'll take y'all....well, except for the guy with the scary face.  There's a part of me that would like to just keep this place MINE....as in, do what I like the way I like to do things.  Which means, a bit weird.  Definitely original.

For instance, I consider myself a fair writer, but I know I get wordy sometimes. I can also be a bit over-the-top with my sarcasm.  But I like funny.  I don't want cottage instincts to look like anybody else's blog, but I do want it to be easily navigated, friendly, and worth your while to pop over and see me in a birdcage.  At times.

So what would you like to see more of here?  What annoys you about my interface and would like changed?  Font? Template? Colors?
 More pics?

 I do all this on my own, and enjoy it tremendously, but I'm always open to new suggestions.
What other kind of info do you want easily accessible?  Ideas I've been considering:
  • advertising/sponsorships (sidebar)
  • room tours (clickable picture for each room on sidebar)
  • link party lists (listed by day of the week on my sidebar)
  • Featured comment of the week (sidebar)
  • Featured blog of the week (full post)
  • Weekly room inspiration (full post)
  • Weekly series of some sort (full post along the lines of sewing, crafting for the home, design, painting, keepin' it real, etc.)
  • Monthly giveaway (from sponsors possibly, or something I put together)

What about my labels over there?  Are they too streamlined?  Need to be more specific?

As far as Make it for Monday here at cottage instincts, do you have any suggestions?  There's a ton of parties already, I wonder if mine is overkill.  I've thought about streamlining it to 'make it with what you have', but that might be too limiting.  Maybe just decorating posts and craft posts that pertain to decorating?  Or just leave it as it is?  I would like to keep the focus here mainly about home design, and although I enjoy seeing everyone's crafts, there seems to be a plethora (love.that.word.) of parties to show off those skillz.  

So, Dr. Readers, I'm here for my 6 month checkup.  How am I doin'?




Stacy said...

I found you not too long ago and had no idea you were 6 months young. You have done quite well for yourself missy, look at all those followers over there! I'm sure you will get some good feedback. My main feedback has already been corrected, the background color of the site. The blue is so much more pleasing. To my eyes anyway. :) I always enjoy an assortment of pictures, too! Otherwise, I love what you have going here. You are a fun read and I adore your style!

Marianne said...

Great questions and they deserve good answers. I am gonna take some time tomorrow (it is almost bedtime here) to look over you blog and give you my 2 cents. But can tell that I love your style and your wit! And having so many faithfull readers in such a short time is compliment enough.

Keetha Broyles said...

I LOVE that you "mix it up" a bit on here. I get so bored with blogs that are ALL ONE THING.

I love your sense of humor and I LOVE the fun and funny pictures that you post.

I'm way jealous that you have 452 followers in less than a year!!! I've had my blog since June of 06 and I only have 101 followers - - - how did you do that, BTW????

I don't like music that comes on when you open a blog - - - and you don't have that - - - so that's all good!!

I say - - - do what YOU want to do with your blog, because it is after all - - - your blog.

Keep up the good blogging!!!!! You're awesome, and so is your header picture.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Ditto. What SHE (Stacy) said. It's a fun place to be & love your style. I've gotten away from thoughts on decorating lately, but I'm about ready to jump back in. So I plan to visit you more. Love your background color, the header, navigation, content. I mean really, can't find a thing NOT to like! Happy Six Months! :) -Tammy

Loui♥ said...

love your style..
easy breezy..funny..
I too started along the same time frame as you..
I write for Me, my personal feelings, adventures and satisfaction and as a place to post my photos etc..I've found so many neat folks with similar interests..and Blogland is just such fun..
You started your blog with your gut feelings..
and it has truly blossomed..
we all love you and enjoy stopping by on a regular basis..
I love the layout,the header,the easy navigation..
Take it from Dr. Loui♥...
as Billy Joel says..
we love you just the way you are!!!
warm hugs,laughing smiles..

www.thewhitefarmhouse2.blogspot.com said...

I don't think there is anything that I don't like or hasn't been said about here. I am jealous that you are only 6 mos young and have over 400 followers and I have been at this a year with 60 some. I guess I need to hone my people skills a bit more. I like that you do point out your mistakes and indecisions. Everything is not a cake walk. I can relate to that. I also like you talking about your personal life too. It makes you a real person and not just a blogger robot. Don't know about the Princess Leia look though.

The Charbeneau Rambler said...

you know what, I think your great...I have zero in my join box, but you know what, I still blog, everynow and again I get some feed back nothing serious, but if you love it, continue doing it. I love your blog, good info, good whit, and great photos...you make me feel connected...keep up the great work!

Rustique Gal said...

Dear Cindy, I have been loving your blog just the way it is. The color and style is simple, easy to read and, well, peaceful. Your writing style is fun and quirky, which keeps me coming back. Your follower list tells the story! Keep up the great work. We love you! Sherry

One Cheap B*tch said...

I love your blog! I will say I never, ever look at advertisers on blogs. I'm not snooty or anything but I feel like we're bombarded with ads on tv, radio, magazines, etc. so who wants to see more of them?

Kate said...

You know that I stop by daily with my coffee to visit your blog, I love ya!!! You are multi talented and make my laugh & giggle and most of all inspire me with your skills. Be you I think thats why we all come back, simply for more of you.

Hugs lots of them

Funky Junk Interiors said...

What I like most about your blog are your own ideas you implement. That makes you different from the rest.

You are right. There's alot ALOT alot of blog parties out there. However, I'm seeing new ones created with running themes, which creates uniqueness. I think we do better when we stick with our personal passions. It all depends on if YOU are looking for higher numbers or something that you're more passionate about. Passion generally wins over in the end.

Scheduled tasks/sponsors will put a different kind of pressure on you. So it's good for everyone to ask themselves before committing, what their final goal is blogwise... business or pleasure? That will help guide you on where you wish to go.

Personally, I like your blog as is. :)I like your content, your decorating taste, that you acknowledge when things go wrong, and your wit/humour.

My only only teeny weeny suggestion is, to try a slightly lighter blue hue for your background, so your black text pops abit more. I have 48 yr old eyes here. And it's all about ME you know!


Helena said...

I think a "contact me" button on the sidebar would be great. And your ideas for features and links and everything sound really fun. I say- do them all!

ritad said...

Love your blog and look forward to each of your post, just the way you are doing them. I don't like music, fairy dust (or whatever that is that looks like snow and slows everything down), I too never look at ads and find myself passing by some of the blogs that have so many sponsors.

Tempest Ahoy said...

I like your blog and your style the way it is. I also am not big on visiting ads on blogs. It sort of annoys me, I would only visit one very, very rarely. Just my honest feelings there.

Autum said...

I really enjoy your blog and think you're doing a great job. I agree with another commenter, I never look at the advertising and rarely click on all that extra stuff on the sidebar you're talking about- but that's just me.
Donna already touched on the whole advertising/sponsorship pressure thing. I've noticed several blogs I really enjoyed start to go downhill once they started adding lots of sponsors. I think it adds pressure to post and to post on "acceptable" or relevant or interesting topics and the content ends up being generic and boring. When a post comes from the heart, a genuineness comes through, and to me that's much more enjoyable than a blog that caters to the masses.

Anonymous said...

Cindy, I enjoy everything about your blog and hope to be just like you when I grow up, lol! Just keep up the good work!

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I enjoy your blog very much and think you are doing a great job! My tiny, little, suggestion is to change your background color. The blue is distracting and your beautiful photos would shine against a very pale background.

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

BTW: Your princess Leah hair had me cracking up!

Drew&Samsmom said...

You definatley have a funny blog!! I love your pictures, your sense of humor and honesty:) I really don't look at advertisements but that doesn't mean that they bother me in the least! Keep doing what you do! I think its great!


Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

I love your blog because you are real & funny. And I love how you decorate. Don't change. Just be you & we will keep coming back.

Brenda Pruitt said...

Well, I have almost 53 (this month) year old eyes. The black text on blue is hard to read for me. Just being real here. I am turned off when I see sponsors and such. I start thinking it's more a business than a personal blog, ya know? Hate music, but keep my volume all the way down. I think the party thing is kind of getting out of control a bit. There's so many I can't remember which ones are when. Just my two cents. I really love that you reveal you whole self and aren't trying to be anything but who you really are, which is one sweet gal. That has to be my fav thing about you!

Gwen said...

KEEP THE SARCASM! I never even thought of you as sarcastic, just authentic, keep it up.

I love blue, appreciate the fact that even though you have a lot going on over on the right, it isn't all in my face, and enjoy the variety of different subjects that you post on.

I know, you were asking for things to work on, but I really can't think of anything. Sorry.

gail@My Repurposed Life said...

well... someone suggested a contact me button... I looked (quickly) and didn't see one. So you need to do that for sure! I'm so glad you don't have music or snow. :)
I would say with your number of followers you must be doing something right. I like the color of your background. I have 53 (almost) year old eyes but it's okay for me to read. Love your pictures, your sense of humor. Go with your gut, it IS your blog!

Anonymous said...

What's that saying....if it ain't broke why fix it? I know I am very new following you - just found you recently - but I love your witty writing since I'm drawn to humor, as you can tell by my blog. I love the honesty - we are not perfect nor have perfect homes. I love it that you don't have advertisers. I call it pimping out the blog and I love not having to get through "that" stuff to get to you.

But hey, it's your blog and you need to do what feels right. I think you are doing a very good job and you get two thumbs up from me.

Ramsey said...

I love love love your blog!!! Wouldn't change a thing. You are an excellent writer with a wonderful sense of humor. I always enjoy reading your blog because you are so down to earth and never appear to be snooty or too perfect. You are truely a joy! Happy six month blogiversary!!!
Lots of love,

Unknown said...

You are unique & awesome ... just continue being you.

Pop over for our giveaway, if you haven't entered.

Happy Valentine's
TTFN ~ Marydon

Diane @ InMyOwnStyle said...

Hi Cindy - The reason why we blog is to express ourselves. I like the blogs where the writers pesonality or style shines through. I think you should stay as you are, a true original. Why try to be someone or something different. I agree that there are a lot of link parties, which are fabulous for newbies like me, but I do like when they are more project or themed specific - for example just furniture makeovers, taking a piece of trash and transforming it, or window treatments are a few examples. I do see link parties that are geared for specfic projects, but it seems anything goes no matter what. Again - Stay as you are. A tweak here or there keeps you current, but don't do anything major because you think it is what people want.
My best- Diane

joyce said...

I love your blog! And, I love your cottage style and your straight forward personality. Keep bloggin' and we'll keep reading!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Do what YOU want to do!! With the number of readers you have in such a short time, I would say a lot of people enjoy the way you have it now. Don't fix it, if it is not broken! I have read a LOT of comments on other blogs lately, where people say blogs should be set up a certain way, etc., (hope they don't look to close at mine). It is YOUR blog - design it the way YOU want it to be.
If all our blogs looked the same, posted alike, same style of writing, same crafts, same style decorating, etc., etc., then it would get boring and I would have to get off the computer, get caught up around the house. Wow - That was a long sentence.
Keep up the good work!

ann marie said...

OK-I love your sense of humour, so don't change that. I'm brand new to the blogging world, so I really appreciate the link parties. I also love the new blue-it so matches your eggs in your nest.

Amy@TheLemonCottage said...

I love your blog! You are one of my faves!
BTW- when are you coming over to make soap? :)
Happy 6 months.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Well, I think your blog is quite beautiful. The ocean blue and the easy to read lettering is wonderful. I didn't see it before..but it certainly looks good. Very pleasant place to land !:)
The nest and eggs are one of my favorite things..and yours is lovely.

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Whaaa?? You're going over to Amy's to make soap? I'm coming too! I'll promise to funkatize a recipe for you (ever try adding abit of rust?)


Unknown said...

The only complaint I have issssssss...I don't know how to do all the nifty things you've done to your blog! I like the changes. As for your Make It For Monday party...keep doing it if you want to and like it. I like it, even if I don't participate some weeks. Your humor is different than a lot of other bloggers (that's a compliment, btw!), so your blog is a cool place to hang out.


Tammy said...

Princess Leah, oops err Princess Cindy- I think you are doing great. I love the new look. I like the font - easier to read and the lighter color makes it easier to read.
I am like you- I want it streamlined but not too modern- just easy to navigate.
I like your party but understand all the parties..maybe make it a - Make it decor for monday or something like that. As you said there are tons of craft parties so maybe make it a bit more specific. That is what I love about Ms Mustard Seeds- furniture feature friday- all furniture.
Maybe since you like decor (and really don't we all) you could designate each week a certain theme..make it monday - living room decor or make it monday - bathroom decor. That way it would all pertain to those things.
Just ideas..I love your blog so I am here whatever you do..

rebecca said...

Puleese keep your make it for monday...it is the only party I go to on a weekly basis...love your blog...great stuff...

Mama Byrd said...

I for one LOVE that you are YOU! I don't like clicking on a blog and seeing everyone copy someone elses stuff. I LOVE that you have a sense of humor and show it. I think being REAL has gotten you this far so don't stop. As for the linky party...LOVE IT! My blog has grown RADIPLY because of your party. PARTY ON!

Dawn said...

Uh, hello? 6 months and almost 500 followers! I'd say you're doing just fine. I've been by quite often lately, though I don't always comment. Love your style. I've used your labels to look for something I had seen before and didn't have any problem finding it. If it aint broke...

~ Regan said...

Yes, please keep the sarcasm... It's nice to know there are 'real' ppl out there, and I enjoy hearing about both ups and downs (well, not 'enjoy'... Let's just say it's something I 'relate' to)
I think your blog are doing well as it is, and any changes are all YOUR personal preference! We are all here because of how much we like YOU, remember that! :):)

Karyn @ Candarbry Garden said...

Cindy, I come over almost daily, (hope you are well stocked on coffee!)I push myself to have some kind of project finished so I can link up to YOUR party! So, several of your friends said that they keep the volume down, so do I. If I forget, or one of the man sized offspring turn it up, it makes me scramble to find the volumewhen I open blogs with music. Color is subjective, Everyone has thiers, and it adds to making it your own as far as personal blogs go. I don't know how the advertising pays, but I absolutely ignore them on blogs, and often quit visiting blogs with advertisers. I started my blog in June, and was excited to see I now have 39 followers. Now, I am green with envy over your magic spell! This is your blog, do what you want! Karyn

Blue Creek Home said...

Every time I visit, I leave with lots of things-
a chuckle, an idea, a mini education, inspiration, and a great respect for you!

It's comfortable here!


Maddie said...

Hey mama,

First off, I really like the blue. Second, a contact me button would be great. Third, I love your sidebar so much more now than when you first started. It's organized and offers a lot.

As for the ideas you're considering, I like:

room tours (clickable picture for each room on sidebar) and
Featured comment of the week (sidebar). You're kinda already doing the pictures of your house, but each room would be cool. And a featured comment of the week could encourage people to leave feedback more, although we don't really seem to have a problem with that, do we?

I don't like:
advertising/sponsorships (sidebar), just because.

I think the link party lists (listed by day of the week on my sidebar) might get overwhelming. I like clicking through your Make It For Monday list, but even that gets too long to get through sometimes. More would be A LOT.

I'm not sure about a featured blog of the week (full post). As in you'd write a post about a blog you like? Eh, I'd rather see a sporadic post now and then when you REALLY like a certain blog, like the chicken coop lady, when you did the post about her!

Weekly room inspiration (full post)? Eh, same as the featured blog of the week, I'd rather read about a room that's inspiring you just now and then, when you feel super inspired and just HAVE to write about it. Otherwise you're under pressure to get inspired every week.

A weekly series of some sort (full post along the lines of sewing, crafting for the home, design, painting, keepin' it real, etc.)? This sounds too routined. Just write what you want to write mama!

Monthly giveaway (from sponsors possibly, or something I put together). Ooooohhhh Aahhh. This could be fun, but not necessary.

Love you. That's all. Bye.

Maddie said...

Oh, and your labels are great and helpful...not confusing at all.

Barbara Matson said...

I like your blog as well. I am not one for advertisers either. I find then that your writing and content isn't representing you. Your writing style is honest and funny with a bit of wit thrown in. I like that you visit us "smaller" blogs and leave lovely comments. I also like your party and look forward to seeing the links on Monday. The blue background is great, it really pops, I think it is better than the taupe you had before. But a blog is an expression of who we are and our desire to create and redecorate can apply to our blogs as well! Have fun experimenting. I will keep following along no matter what you have hanging on the side!

Jayme Goffin, The Coop Keeper said...

Cindy Lou....I had no idea you were only blogging for six months! Girl....you have it goin' on. I think your blog is perfect the way it is...I do like the new font, and the new tweaks. Contact me button is a must. I would frown on advertisers...I just don't like them one bit, but I'm all for making a little money on the blog if you could, you know? You put so much time and effort into it. Looking SO forward to seeing you next weekend. I'm gonna pick your brain cleaner than a chicken leg! Ha!

Beverly said...

I love it. I've been following for a while and your blog is easy on these old eyes. It's peaceful and I love to come here and enjoy whatever you're doing!

Thirkellgirl said...

I like the tan background better than blue, easier to read. The only thing that bugs me at all is the centered text. Please left-justify. (That's all). Love your photos!

Rue said...

Hmmm... don't like advertising, but know why some do and don't care if it's just over on the side. I don't do it, but whatever.

Parties... too much pressure for me (even though I do it sometimes) and I hate it when some don't comment on everyone's blog. What's the point of a party? Participation people!

The weekly thing? blech. Too much to keep up with and when bloggers do it, I have nothing to say unless it's something I'm interested in, so in my opinion it leaves people out, but you know what they say about opinions ;)

But with that said, you're funny and talented and real, so basically do what you want and we'll still show up :)


Anonymous said...

Why do you push us all to take your button while you took down all of ours and your blogroll?

::cottage instincts:: said...

I really try not to push anyone to take my button. It's there if you've been featured (and the only time I mention it), and some folks really like blog buttons on their sidebar, so I made one available. I removed my buttons because it was getting too crowded, and I don't like the clutter. I want a more streamlined look. Some blogs I used to visit were hard on the eyes with so much going on besides the actual post.

I will be adding back a blogroll as soon as I can figure out how I want to do it. I'm perusing others blogs for ideas since I have so many I like to read. I'd like to categorize them somehow...like crafty blogs, inspirational blogs, strictly home decor blogs....that kind of thing. To help folks more easily find what they're interested in.

Because you posted anonymously, I assume you're not happy with me or my blog. I'm sorry about that, but I can't please everyone all the time.

I do appreciate your feedback.

Beverly said...

Just found you and I love your blog. Especially love your nest with the blue eggs. I do bird rescue, so that is close to my heart. I just started blogging a couple of weeks ago. It is so fun and therapeutic at the same time.

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