Analyzing November & Thinking Out Loud about December

Analzying November

Christmas Display
Christmas Display
Election Fireworks
November 29th Election Fireworks

Another month has come and gone and it is now December, the last month of 2014. Personally, I love this time of year. Christmas is just around the corner which means lots of excitement and anticipation for the arrival of the holiday season. We will soon bid farewell to 2014 and welcome the new year which brings with it a sense of new beginnings, hope, and renewal.

However, before I get all excited about what I want to do in December, I would like to take a moment to reflect on some of the things that I accomplished in November.

Analyzing November: The Blog & Book

My Very Own Domain Name

My blog is moving up in the world with the purchase of a domain name: foreignsanctuary.com – I have my very own domain name, a place to call my own. Plus, I am getting use to the idea that maybe, just maybe, I am not that technologically challenged after all. See what I did with the feature picture for this post โ€“ not too shabby for someone who never ever tried anything new.

Another ‘Best Month Ever’

November was another ‘best month ever’ in terms of number of views and hits. Thanks to all of you who read, commented on, and shared my posts. You guys are the best!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love communicating with each and every one of you.

Shares and Blog ‘Love’

Thanks to Ri of Ichigoichielove for mentioning some of my posts on her blog. I admire how up-to-date she is in terms of Japanese Pop Culture and current events. Be sure to pop over to her blog and see what she is up to on her facebook page.

Also, a shout-out to TaiwaneseAmerican.org for sharing my Meinong post on facebook. I love how this organization keeps Taiwanese Americans informed with what is happening in Taiwan.

Pinterest

I started using Pinterest in November. Apparently, it is a very useful tool when blogging. However, I have no idea how it really works and how to optimize the benefits of using it โ€“ so I clearly have a lot to learn. If you use Pinterest, pop by and check out my boards!ย  (https://www.pinterest.com/foreignsanctuar/ย  –ย  It looks really weird without the ‘y’)

Another Guest Post (or should I say ‘contribution’)

It looks like my husband may become a regular contributor on Foreign Sanctuary. This is great news as he has many good ideas for posts and it gives me a little blogging break which means more time for me to dedicate to my book. Check out his latest post ‘Modern World, Modern Thoughts.’

Most Popular Post in November

My most popular post this month was one that was written a long time before it was actually published as it shared a more personal side of me and gave a glimpse into the reasons why I am a more ‘private’ type of blogger. However, the feedback was amazing (thanks to everyone who commented โ€“ your thoughts and ideas and words mean so much to me) and it gave me the confidence to write about things of a ‘deeper’ nature (and not only the fun and positive stuff).

The Book

I worked on it a lot during the first and last week of November. I did my fair share of revising and editing, as well as writing new content. I have a post all written and ready but it seems that other posts have taken priority and I feel that they should be published first. I really want to document about the writing process as it is sometimes very challenging and difficult to reflect onย and write about the ‘not so pretty’ moments of our lives โ€“ you know, those parts that take you back and relive the difficult events and situations.

Thinking Out Loud About December

Some things I would like to accomplish during the month of December are:

~~> learn the ins and outs of Pinterest + create a Pinterest widget for blog

~~> continue blogging twice a week one Monday and Friday (but there may be some extra posts in lieu of the holiday season)

~~> exercise daily

~~> accomplish specific book goals

~~> complete what need to be done in terms of work

Things to look forward to:

~~> Bear Displays Pt 2

~~> Saying good-bye & the beginning of something new on December 30th

~~> New Year’s Eve Fireworks

ย – ย Everything Christmas

~~> Christmas displays around the city

~~> Christmas & holiday decorating

~~> Christmas turkey feast & get together

~~> Christmas Day ๐Ÿ™‚

~~NOTE~~

All the pictures included in this post were taken during the month of November!!

Hope you are all getting into the holiday ‘swing of things.’ What did you accomplish in November and what are your plans for December?

Close-up flower and rainbow bears
Close-up flower and rainbow bears
Close-up flower and rainbow bearsTaichung Opera House Display
Taichung Opera House Display
bee and flower
bee and flower

Linking up with Weekly Wishes

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35 thoughts on “Analyzing November & Thinking Out Loud about December

  1. Seems that November was again a very productive and interesting month for you. I will have myself a blog revamp this month (hope it works) and will tackle other social media platforms to promote my blog a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. That is quite a number of achievements you’ve got going there. I am thinking maybe the book is by far the most challenging – writing a book is a massive project. I really like what you did to the first photo – I thought it would make a very attractive Christmas card, minus the wording of course ๐Ÿ™‚

    Always challenging with social media. That’s something I plan on putting more effort into next year. I did try Pinterest at some point but really don’t have the time for it, what with a full time job and writing. Looking forward to more posts from you and your husband, I won’t even mind reading more from the two of you. I’ll be winding back from blogging in the next few weeks, which will give me more time to read and think ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks – I just love what you can do with some editing as the pic was actually taken with a smartphone!!

      Yes, writing a book is challenging but I feel that it is also very important to enjoy the process. Sometimes I re-read pages and think ‘Did I actually write that – it sounds so good.’ And then there are pages which sit for awhile and when I go back to them, I think ‘that sounds like crap’ and they get a complete overhaul and revision.

      Pinterest is something that I could like as it deals with pics and I love pics. I have found that several of my pics have been already pinned by others which is pretty cool. However, I have to read more about getting the most out of it.

      Have fun reading and thinking!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am actually going to post some of the articles that have been written for a long time this month so I can focus more on enjoying the holidays.

      1. Oh wow. That really is good work on the photo then, taken with a smartphone! You know how to use it well ๐Ÿ™‚

        That is good to hear your writing and book is coming along. It sounds like it’s going to be a long book, looking forward to it. Writing a book or any long piece of writing is like a puzzle. Some paragraphs will gel well together and paint a bit of a picture. Other paragraphs will need a lot of rearranging and editing ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Yes, actually the first and second one where taken with an HTC one. I had my camera with me but I was nervous to use it in a store.

          You hit the nail on the head in terms of writing being like a puzzle. I find it is all about balance too. I know I condensed three typed pages into one and a half pages as it felt like it was too long-winded and affected the flow of the overall chapter. Writing is not about how many words but about getting a message across as smoothly and effectively as possible (which I am slowly learning with time).

          1. It’s never about the camera, but how the person behind the camera uses the camera and sees the world/story. You do a great job of photos, I always love the colour in them.

            Very wise thoughts about writing. It really is never about the word count. It’s always about our story and our voice. If we are honest in our writing, then I think people will be more inclined to sit down and read what we have to say.

  3. Glad this has been a good November. It is good to reflect. Sometimes we only dwell on the things we didn’t accomplish and the “if only’s”. Time to pat ourselves on the back for the good things we did and received. Then we can set new goals for next year. ๐Ÿ™‚
    OH NO! The dreaded New Year’s Resolutions! lol

    1. I completely agree!! I find writing this is a way to realize how much I have accomplished – all the steps I have taken to improve my blog.

      Yes, with New Year’s just around the corner it is time to reflect on what we accomplished in 2014 and focus on our hopes for the New Year! I always love the beginning of the new year as it brings with it a sense of new beginnings!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It is exciting because that means you are reaching a larger audience.

      To be honest, many of my bigger posts this month have been written for awhile but I just thought others should have been posted before them. And then, there are the Christmas posts, which are more photo essay. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You were very busy in November! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have never used Pinterest. Honestly, I don’t have time, and now that I started working even less… I don’t even have enough time to use Facebook and Twitter! Use well your unemployed time, I wasted most of mine, hahaha.

    Do you have snowflakes falling on your page? O_o

    1. Yes, there is a feature on WP now!! The snow will keep falling until Jan 4th!

      Pinterest is something that I could like as it deals with pics and I love pics. I have found that several of my pics have been already pinned by others which is pretty cool. However, I have to read more about getting the most out of it. I find that twitter is like spam that no one really reads. But, then again, maybe I just don’t know how to use it to my advantage.

      Hope you job in Shanghai is off to a good start!! By the sounds of it, it is as you are already invited to a Christmas party. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. What an awesome month! I like December too but mostly because it’s when the office is usually empty and I get my bonus…hehehe…but weirdly enough I’m so busy this December at work! It’s usually very quiet for me but it means that I really have to work out time to do up my posts.

    And pinterest! I’m just as clueless as you at this point..haha…I kinda left it hanging while I concentrate on my instagram and twitter but I still have a lot of ways to go when it comes to social media. I do wonder how do others cope while working..hehe..

    Anyway, I look forward to more posts and more from your husband. I like that he gives another perspective to everything which is more similar to my background..

    Regardless, happy holidays and let’s countdown to a brand new year! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. I think it is the same in Taiwan just before Chinese New Year!! Many employees look forward to their CNY bonus and everything is very quiet before the major holiday.

      Pinterest is something that I could like as it deals with pics and I love pics. I have found that several of my pics have been already pinned by others which is pretty cool. However, I have to read more about getting the most out of it. Other bloggers claim that it is their #1 source of referrers after Google – however, I am not too sure how time they spend pinning.

      My husband will be happy to hear that you enjoy his posts. He loves getting positive feedback. If someone says something nice, they are labeled a ‘fan.’ Too cute – I love it!

      Yes, it is nearly 2015!! Do you have any plans to welcome the new year?

  6. I can’t believe 2014 is going to be over in about 3 weeks or so! You seem to have had an amazing year and I can’t wait to read one of those “Year in Review” post from you. Have fun writing the book and keep us updated here on the blog! Lastly, congratulations on the “new” domain name!!

    1. Thanks so much!! Getting an official domain name has seal the deal – I am a real blogger now!! One of the kool kids! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, it has been a great year!! But, what an amazing and awesome year it has been for you!! I mean, you just spent an entire month walking through Northern Spain – how cool is that!! I look forward to reading all about it!

    1. Yes, we could swap discoveries. I think that Pinterest is something that I could like as it deals with pics and I love pics. As for the writing class, well it seems that other things have taken priority lately but I have read the assignments and hopefully I will complete them sometime in the future. I feel that there is a ton of interaction and it is too much to read – if only there were two of me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. So true with too much to read. I took a peek today and there seems to be some interesting content and writers writing with intention! These suggestions will be on the back burner until January. Yes! Two of me would be wonderful sometimes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know when you try out Pinterest!

  7. You’re really good at setting goals and following through. Congratulations!

    I like your feature picture. How do you do that? I’m going to have to learn.

    I added some of your pins to my boards.

  8. Looks like a successful November. Congrats on your own domain, and on becoming more technologically savvy. Writing a blog is definitely a learning experience.
    Hope your December is going just as well!

  9. You got a lot done in November and a lot to look forward to for December! I love Pinterest though admittedly I don’t use it to the top advantage for the blog…it’s all a work in progress ๐Ÿ™‚ Here are a few posts (not by me) that might be helpful: http://bit.ly/1Ft7dgI http://bit.ly/1vVVJd0. Their guides are helpful too for when you are just starting out but are not the easiest to find. Here is the Pinterest guide for businesses http://bit.ly/1xpnSjn and their blog link is at the bottom of the page and that has some good tips too.

  10. Oh man, every single month I set the goal of exercising daily but I never EVER succeed at that. I just find that balancing my full time job with all the other tasks I would like to complete is so incredibly hard. How do you manage? Advice please!

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