Unremarkable.

I was never anything remarkable.

I was more the stay-in-the-shadows type. I had a shining moment or two in life, but honestly they were really pretty rare. I was OK with that, I didn’t feel a need to be in the spotlight. I was OK with hiding.

I always wanted to be a homemaker with a beautiful home to take care of. From the days of my cardboard Barbie houses until now, my home has symbolized a place of safety and beautiful refuge from the world. I could do my thing and I didn’t really have to impact anyone outside of my family or guests. I liked life that way. Cozy, comfortable. Safe.

Read the rest at (in)courage…Unremarkable Me.

Gearing up for 31 Days 2011!

So in case you were lounging by the pool with a summer novel in your hand a few weeks ago (as you well should have been!) and missed the big announcement, I’m once again going to do a 31 day series in October! UPDATE: IT HAS BEGUN! Here is the link!

Last year, if you recall, I hosted a series called 31 Days of Autumn Bliss, along with a group of other blogging friends who each wrote on their own topics. It was my first time ever attempting a 31 day in a row series and it was challenging and exhausting for my brain, but fun. I think I learned a few things on what not to do. My friend Nester is our 31 day ring leader and is the one to blame thank for this idea. It is great to have friends who have good ideas.

This year, we are doing the same 31 day series format, with a couple of twists. One, our topics will be fresh and new. Secondly, we are opening up the challenge to write your own 31 day series. Yes, you are invited to join in!

So what will I be writing about this year?

This October, I’ll be expanding my favorite seasonal topics a bit more to inspire us (eh, hem, OK, who am I fooling, I write these for myself) to embrace all the wonderfulness of the  entire holiday season from Fall to Christmas. I haven’t quite mapped out what the entire month will look like, but I’m thinking along the lines of this basic week by week timeline:

Week One: Cozying Up Our Homes for Fall and Winter
Fresh ideas to embrace the fall season of contentment and prepare your home for the cozy season ahead.

Week Two:  Thankful for Fall Traditions
Be inspired to creatively embrace fall traditions at home.

Week Three: Holiday Entertaining
I’ll share simple ideas and tips to prepare our homes for entertaining and really enjoying the holiday season.

Week Four: Christmas Bliss
And finally near the end of our 31 days, we’ll gear up for Christmas with ideas for gift giving, tips for creative wrapping, simple crafts and ideas for decorating your home.

Those topics might change or move about a little without warning, but that little outline is basically helping me avoid a panic attack.  I can do this. I can. It seems much more doable when you have an outline.

Can you write for 31 days in a row on a subject YOU are passionate about?

We’d love to have you join us in this challenge.

Here is how to get started if you want to participate 31 Days:

1. Pick a topic you love to talk about. It can be a single topic or a series of related topics forming a 31 day series. There are no real rules! There is a list of last years participants and their topics here if you want more inspiration for how to do this. Only one blogger quit blogging after this series so the chances are, you’ll survive too (just kidding, kind of).

2. Put together a general outline of post ideas to make sure you feel comfortable with writing 31 posts on your chosen topic. You don’t have to write complicated posts, they can be as simple as a photograph or a few lines of text. Don’t overwhelm yourself.  Simple is really best.

3. Once you know your topic, commit. Publish a post on your blog telling the world you are doing a series in October. You can make a button if you want to! I made mine with Picnik and I’m pretty dang proud of myself if I do say so. Design one you like!

4. On October 1st, we’ll host a linky (details on how to link up will be provided closer to October) where you can link up your blog and your 31 day topic so we can all be inspired by YOU.

5.  If you don’t want to write but just want to enjoy the series,  that is OK too! In fact, that would be awesome if someone was still around to read my blog. Crickets can be SO LOUD!

Did I forget anything?

Feel free to delurk right now and ask questions in the comments, or share what you think you’ll write about!

Note: It is A-OK to write on the same basic topic as someone else because there is no one else like you — no one else will approach the same topic the same way! But you might try to find a unique angle on a topic to help it stand out as being distinctively yours!

I hope you’ll all participate in 31 days — we’ll be blowing up the internet!

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