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February Recap

How To Add Share Buttons (Method 1)

This is a requested tutorial. :)



1. Create a free account via Shareholic. Once you've done that, head over to your Website Dashboard and add your website.

2. Scroll down the page and click on the drop down button labeled "Add App Location". Click the first option, share buttons.

3. Name your Share button application then proceed to customize it to your liking. You can change the display options of the buttons, which apps you'd like to feature and more, so make sure to spend some time on this step.

4. When done click "Save Settings". Scroll back down the page and click the button that says "code snippet" when you hover over it. Copy and add the code that comes up to your blog's HTML, right under the "<div class='post-header-line-1'/>" (this particular line may show up twice, so place your share button code beneath the second one).

5. Save template and load the page to view your brand new share buttons.

Have a comment, question or concern? Comment below. :)

xx Nicole Rose

Calling all guest posters, button swappers and friends.


Guest Posts

Contribute to the Self Known community by writing and sending in a guest post that will touch hearts and make an impact on those who read it. Not only is guest posting is a great way to share and spread what you have to say to new readers who haven't been exposed to your wonderful content yet, but it's a great way to practice using your powerful voice without having it echo back at you.

If you'd like to swap guest posts (I'll let you post something here while you let me post something on your blog), I'd be happy to discuss such arrangements. :)

Requirements

+ Blogger-friendly post/s centered around a topic that has some relevance to the content of my blog (if you need a list of ideas, ask for one when you contact me). Post may be at any length and contain as many photos as you desire (as long as they are your own or you have credited the source in your work)
+ Short bio explaining you and your site - maximum of 150 words.

Button Swaps / Sponsor

Sponsoring and participating in button swaps is another way to reach out and spread the word of your blog throughout the blogging community without forcing yourself to rack your brain for the right words.

What's the difference between sponsoring and button swaps?

In this case there's no difference between sponsoring and button swaps - they're the same thing to me. :)

Requirements

As the name suggests, we will swap buttons - you place my button on your sidebar or designated page, while I do the same. Depending on your preferences, this transaction can last as long as a few weeks, up to a few months.

Suggestions

Stuck in a rut and don't know what to post about? Need a little bit of insight on the story you're writing? Have a brainstorm session with me through email. Working with others has always inspired me creatively, so why not give it a try yourself?

Requirements

+ Time and patience
+ Willingness to contribute
+ Creativity to spark

Interview

Interested in letting other bloggers know a little bit more about you? Swap interviews with me! (Note: this is a swap and it cannot be negotiated into a one way deal.)

Requirements

+ Willingness to answer questions over email
+ Questions on hand (to ask me)
+ Short bio - maximum of 150 words

Giveaway / Contest / Instagram Loop / And so on...

If you'd like to host a giveaway, contest or loop giveaway (via Instagram), contact me so we can discuss contributions and details, and get something organized.

What's a loop giveaway?

A loop giveaway is when several people get together to sponsor the same contest. Everyone works together by posting the same photo and tagging other participants. It's better explained here. :)

Requirements

Dependent on what you'd like to host with me.

Ready to participate?


Comment down below, email me or send me a message via my contact form to reach out and get in touch so we can get started on discussing any of the arrangements mentioned above. I can't wait to hear from you guys.

All these options will be available to everyone constantly. BUT, first come first serve, so take action quickly.

I know this post is super busy, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. :)

Who will you reach today?


xx Nicole Rose

#AskSelfKnown | Q&A Answers

Hello hello hello! Today is such a lovely day, isn't it? A little cold and gray, but that's to expect. ;) As you probably know the deadline for my Q&A session was the 19th. I received 17 wonderful questions I can't wait to answer. So let's get right to it. Enjoy. <3


+ + +

Noor

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Anything that has chocolate, peanut butter, or some type of cookie/candy in it - ehh, let's just go with all flavors as my favorite. ;)

What are some of your favorite blogs?

To name a few:

+ Hidden
+ Fifth out of Ten
+ Clover and Dot
+ Eve of Womanhood
+ this flawless blog

And more. :)

How many pets do you own? / Do you have any pets?

One. Well, technically two. My older sister moved in with us, and she has a dog named Breyers (yes, she's named after ice cream). Other than that there's out family pet, Monkey (yes, we have a dog named Monkey). They're both girls, so things can get a little catty around here (haha).

Why did you start blogging?

I was greatly inspired by Liz from American Girl Fan. I loved how she had this giant community that was keen on hearing her opinion. And I felt like I could accomplish the same as well.

Elly

Do you play any instruments?

I used to play piano, and am currently learning how to play guitar. :)

Any tips on blogging?

Don't be afraid to follow other blogs and comment on what other's have to say. Make your opinion known in a nice, polite manner. Ask a friendly question and who knows, a relationship may spur from your outreach. :)

Jollygirl

Who is your hero?

On this earth? My best friend. Out of this world? God.

What is your favorite book to read?

All. Of. Them. #BookEquality

What was the last movie you went to? What did you think?

I went to see Jupiter Ascending on Valentine's day. I thought it was wonderful - especially since it was in 3D. The plot was pretty wacky and I could hardly understand what the actors were saying (okay, since when did it get cool to mumble everything with wide eyes and a dramatically tilted had?), but I had a great time. :)

Who is your favorite author?

UGH, this question. It's so hard. >.< Okay, well, my original favorite author was Suzanne Collins (back when I read the Hunger Games trilogy), but now that's expanded to Veronica Roth, John Green, Andrew Fukuda, Virginia Bergin, Rainbow Rowell, SARK, Stephenie Meyer and much much much much more...

Alice

Have you ever been to any music festivals?

Nope, but I'd love to go to one sometime, just to have the experience. :)

Anonymous

What do you tell a friend who bashes herself daily, and calls herself fat (which she isn't skinny but she isn't fat) and anything nice you tell her she tells you that you're just being nice?

Tell her about God and His unconditional lover for her - or if you're not comfortable with that, guide her on the path to self-love. Help her take the first step. :)

What is your favorite song off of Four?

ALL OF THEM. I love that whole album (which is rare - even with One Direction music).

What's a quote that's inspired you lately?

What's something that makes you smile?

When other people smile or laugh. :)

+ + +

Thank you for reading! If you happen to have a question (or two), just comment below and I'll update this post with the answer. :)

Happy Tuseday.


xx Nicole Rose

Expression // 001


I'm always comparing myself to you. I'm always weighing our lives against each other, trying to see who's coming out on top. I feel like a hideous failure, so if I stood next to you, I'd slouch - because the weight of you being better than me is heavy on my shoulders.

I feel like I'm missing out on the majors bits of your life, because I'm not there. And you know I'm not there. So we're both feeling my absence.

I wanted -

I want to -

I. Me. We. Were. Will we become something, like we've always wanted?

Or will be fall between the cracks like the roots of a dying weed?

+ + +

If you read this, you rock. <3

xx Nicole Rose

Do you really want to be normal?

I'm not good at making friends. I'm the awkward kid, the one who stares at the ground while they talk, or bounces on the balls of their feet, keeping in time with the tune that's inside their head alone. I'm the quirky one of the group. My ideas are either amazing or something to be frowned upon. I like to make people laugh. But I hate it when I can see everyone's head turning in my direction as I speak. I can't take the heat. I don't like the attention.

Yet I strive to be that person.

That person that everyone around me seems to be. The one who can tell the story without messing up the plot. The one who can express their opinion, and still sound...normal.

But I figured out a long time ago; I'm not normal.



“The word ‘Normal’ has become, like, a cringing word to me.

Because, who wants to be normal? 

Normal is something millions of people do every single day. 

To be abnormal, to me, is what’s a lot more fun. 

And I think the individualism of that is what life’s all about.”

 —Josh Hutcherson



I'm learning to embrace my abnormalities. That I should strive to be unique and one of a kind. Why care about society's ever so cliche view--that you must be normal and blend in with the crowd--when you can be yourself and feel good about it?

Look at all these movie stars, the actors, the actresses, the singers, the dancers. How did they get where they are today? How did they become famous role models?

They stood out.

So maybe that's what I have to do.


What's your opinion on being "normal"?

xx Nicole Rose

Survey Results

Do you remember when I asked you guys, my lovely readers, to take a survey? Well I've finally compiled the results! Take a look. :)



Aren't these results great? Thank you so much to those of you who participated in my survey. You rock. :)

Thanks for reading. <3
xx Nicole Rose

Template Spotlight: Aesthetic Tones


This month's new template is called Aesthetic Tones.

This template features:
+ text header
+ social media buttons
+ post footer share options
+ post title logo
+ sidebar gadget background
+ styled heading and blockquote
+ custom pages
+ custom search & email gadget

This is one of my newest templates, Aesthetic Tones. What's your opinion on it?

Interested? Learn more about it on my design site, Nicole Rose Designs.


xx Nicole Rose

Book Sneak Peek

Read this and tell me what you think. (Please?)

+ + +


9.17.14

the pain of separation cuts deep within one’s soul, especially when they are separated from something that completes them. as one needs most of their organs, we’ll find that people become our substitutes. when someone leaves it’s like a surgery is performed to remove the symbolic organ the person was. if you left me, I’d die. because one cannot live without their heart.



10.31.14

you were a starfish.
when I tried to hold your
hand, your arm broke off,
and then the tide came in,
washing me out to sea,
with only your memory -
and your arm to hold on to.

12.4.14

you harpooned my broken heart with new promises made on old terms. the only reason I followed you—allowed myself to get dragged into your arms was because I felt so alone. I needed warmth and pretended to receive it even when your chilled skin sent ripples down my spine.



7.28.14


I want to paint my skin with the colors provided by the world—autumn orange, spring green, sky blue. I want others to see the visions of what I see through my eyes reflected off my skin. I won’t care what they think they see, or what their opinions happen to be. It’ll just be me being my reflective self.



8.19.14


today is yesterday’s future, and tomorrow’s past. but it’s also the current present. don’t let it slip you by while you’re anticipating the future, or past.


+ + +

Thanks for reading. <3
xx Nicole Rose

February Linkup

This mid-month linkup is an opportunity to meet other bloggers, discover other blogs, and create friendship as you go! Share anything you like.



Mid-Month Link Up

Grow your blogging perspective.

Make sure to visit other blogs and link up your own! :)

How to be Happily Single (on Valentine's Day)

I'm sure many of us are aware that this Saturday is Valentine's Day. Especially all the "forever alone" single people out there. Because you've heard your friends planning their weekends, talking about the gifts they've bought and how much fun the day's going to be. Sometimes it gets on our nerves, right? I mean, I personally think that someone's crossed a line if they openly discuss chocolate (which they clearly aren't going to give you) right in front of you. But mostly the day brings this general feeling of sadness because we feel very lonely.

And let's face it. We're jealous too.

Which is okay. It's quite natural to want to have someone you love give you chocolate you're allowed to eat. But when the jealousy and bitter feelings get too intense, your good day can end up turning bad.

So here are some tips on how to be happy on Valentine's Day (singles addition).



1. Realize

You're single. Which is not a synonym for alone. Being single means you have freedom. You don't have to stress about affording the gift you want to get your girlfriend/boyfriend, or worry about how things have been so tense between you two for the past few weeks. Sure, the couch may feel a little cold but that's nothing a blanket, a giant teddy bear and some hot chocolate can't fix. ;)

2. Embrace

Embrace your singleness. Chat with friends, plan a get together, work on that novel you keep pushing aside or grab your camera and snap some photos while you're out on a nature embracing walk. Tell yourself it's okay not to be in a relationship. And depending on your circumstances, it's probably what's best for you. Love will find you and your patience will be rewarded.

3. Indulge

I'm sure you've caught yourself studying the candy bars by the check out or stroking a book cover more than once. Indulge a little a buy yourself some candy or that book - or both. Don't be afraid to spend a little money on yourself in an expression of self love.

4. Permit

You're allowed to ignore the fact that it's Valentine's Day. You're allowed to avoid watching couples get lovey dovey with each other. You're allowed to buy candy for yourself, feel alone, and notice a spike of jealousy whenever two people holding hands as they walk through the mall. Permitting yourself to feel and do these things is part of life, so give yourself permission. But don't let it effect your day.



As a little side note, I'm not exactly sure that Valentine's Day has ever bothered me. But since I wrote this post, I'm sure it will this year. ;)

Has Valentine's Day ever bothered you?


Thanks for reading!
xx Nicole Rose

Valentine's Day iPhone Wallpaper Freebies

Valentine's Day is only a few days away, so I thought I'd make a few iPhone/iPod wallpapers for you guys. :)



Love love love wallpaper // iPhone 4 + iPhone 5
XOXO wallpaper // iPhone 4 + iPhone 5
Mmm... chocolate wallpaper // iPhone 4 + iPhone 5

Share your thoughts in the comments - I'd love to know what you think of these. :)

xx Nicole Rose

It's Brainstorming Time

I've been sitting here for a couple of hours allowing myself to get distracted by YouTube while my inner conscience keeps saying "Rose, you should be writing blog posts". But I've looked through my list of ideas and many  partially started drafts, but nothing seems to be speaking to me. So I decided, why not have a brainstorming session and post about that?

Genius, no?

Here are a few brainstorming techniques I use when I'm stuck in a rut.


1. Listing


Whip out a piece of paper and write a word (preferably one that's related to your blog's niche). What does that word make you think of? Write that down. What does the next word make you think of? Write that down. And so on and so forth. No matter what, don't stop. Keep going until you find a word/topic you'd like to write about. :)

Here's my list:

+ writing
+ journaling
+ daily
+ experiences
+ emotions
+ memories
+ happy
+ smiling
+ laughing
+ joyful
+ playful

2. Visualizing


I'm a very visual person who happens to own several social media accounts that have photos with the potential to inspire me. I use them. And you should too. Scroll through your Pinterest, Tumblr, We Heart It, or even Instagram feed to gather ideas. I find this especially helpful when I want to write something very visual for a book scene I'm working on, but don't feel like I have the right details in mind. :)

Take a look at my photographic inspiration board on Pinterest if you're in search of inspiration.

Follow Nicole Rose's board p h o t o g r a p h i c i n s p i r a t i o n . on Pinterest.

3. Questioning


Look at the world around you and ask questions. Change your perspective. Hang upside down. Close your eyes and breathe. Leave the house, take a walk. Use a new approach.

"Why is the sky blue?"
"Where do the birds go when it's cold?"
"Is our earth really round?"
"How is glitter made?"

Et cetera, et cetera.

Write down your questions and discoveries to get yourself thinking as you search for answers.

4. Mapping


Create a word map. Start with a central idea (for example we'll use blogging) then have several related topics branching off from it. From each of those topics, add a few sub specific sub topics. Here's a graphic presentation:



And there you have it. Four unique brainstorming techniques. Comment below which one is your favorite.

If you need more help finding your muse, check out my post, 7 Ways To Seek & Find Your Inspiration. :)

What has your brain stormed today?


Thanks for reading!

xx Nicole Rose

Turning A Bad Day Into A Good One

We all have those days that makes us feel so...bleh. Maybe it started when you stubbed your toe, and then found out that your sister ate the last of your favorite cereal, then progressed from there. Maybe you woke up feeling discontent and bitter. Maybe you're just not up to dealing with the world.

Whatever the case, it's always good to know a few tricks that will pull you out of your mood and help you make the most of your day.

Here are the methods that work best for me. :)



1. Crank Up The Tunes

Whenever I'm feeling down or my day has taken a turn for the worst, I love slinking away to my room, pulling up iTunes and dancing around until my parents shout up the stairs that it sounds like an elephant is thundering on the top floor of the house. Dance to music like T-Swizzle's Shake It Off and MKTO's Classic helps me not only feel better, but burn off all that pent up frustration that's tensed me.

I suggest creating a playlist of your favorite tunes. Make sure it consists of songs that make you feel expressed. Choosing songs that make you want to tap your toes and wiggle are hips are perfect when it comes to building a "Feel Better" playlist. :)

2. Surf YouTube

There are so many YouTubers out there that make me smile. Miranda Sings, Tyler Oakley, Mikey Murphy, Connor Franta, SuperWoman and more, all seem to crack me up and break me out of the grumps. They lift my spirits and remind me that eventually, it's going to be okay.

3. Go Hug Searching


Getting a hug from a close friend, family member, stuffed animal, pet and so on can be very uplifting. It's been proven hugs are a powerful form of healing. This is due to many reasons.


  • Hugs build trust and give a sense of safety.
  • They instantly boost Oxycontin levels (the feel good hormones), healing feelings of isolation, anger and loneliness.
  • Hugs can also lift serotonin levels and create happiness.


And the list of benefits goes on and on and on.

4. Write About It

This has always helped me.  Even though it sometimes ends up with me just slamming my fists down on my keyboard until there are enough random letters in a Google Doc to pleasingly express my rage (or sadness or loneliness or whatever I may be feeling).

It's great if you keep a journal and write about how you feel everyday. I use my journal to talk to God. Because when I'm actually writing a prayer to Him, instead of thinking it, it helps me stay on track, make nothing's left out and clearly express what I say in the way I want to say it.

5. Take A Deep Breath

In... Out... In... Out.

Close your eyes for a moment and ever so gently, fill your lungs with air. While breathing in through your nose, imagine that the air is pouring into you, filling up the very back of your lungs that your normal breathing doesn't usually reach. Hold this lungful of air for three seconds, then release. Doing this a couple times should make you feel more focused, relaxed and quite a bit calmer.

What helps your bad day turn good?


That's all for today! I hope you found this post hopeful. If you did comment below with your thoughts, share it with your friends or quietly let it impact your life. Until next time. :)

xx Nicole Rose

Feel Better Playlist


Feeling down? Listen to this magical musical playlist.

That's all for now. <3

xx Nicole Rose

Who am I? (#AskSelfKnown)


Everywhere I turn I see bloggers doing Q&A's. I told myself I wasn't going to give in and do one as well, but... the more I think about it, the more I want to do one. XD

So comment below with any questions you'd like me to answer (I might make a video with my answers - how fun would that be?). If you want to contact me through other social media (like Google Plus, Tumblr, or Instagram) as well, use the hashtag #AskSelfKnown. Question acceptance ends on the 19th.

I can't wait to hear from you guys. :)

(Thank you to Bryleigh for inspiring me to do this.)

xx Nicole Rose

Free iPhone Wallpaper - "Believe"

Today I have a treat for my lovely iPhone/iPod users!


Yes, yes. I (finally) tried my hand at making wallpapers. And I must say, I'm rather pleased with how they turned out. :)

Click the link below while on your device then tap to save. :)

iPhone 4
iPhone 5

xx Nicole Rose

Finding Beauty In Yourself

beauty

[via]

Beauty. That super unreliable thing a lot of us tend to worry about. It's a noun Google defines as "a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, esp. the sight".

Beauty is something our eyes see and allow our brains to process, deciding whether or not the object in front of us is aesthetically pleasing. This word, with its catastrophic description and limit to who and what it touches is diabolical, in its own sense. Because so often we allow it to be limited to what our eyes see - the physical flaws, the imperfections - not allowing us to look at the soul beneath the skin.

I believe we are all beautiful, both on the outside and the inside. And though it seems like we're not, like we're the only person in the whole world to have somehow received the mutant "ugly" gene, that's so not true. Our inner cores - our hearts, our souls - are ravishing in their own personal and unique way. We are human. Beings who are most often too quick to judge and decide, not stopping to consider what lies beneath the skin - a habit we should consider getting out of.

Especially when it comes to ourselves.

I can't speak for all of us, but I can speak for myself. When I have days where I'm feeling down about myself, looking in the mirror makes me cringe. Out of habit, I point out the flaws. "My nostrils are uneven. My hair is freaking out. Why does my shirt not hang right on my frame?" You get the point. I'm 89% sure I've talked about this before, so you may be thinking, "But Rose, what about all this talk of self-love and inner beauty and 'it's what's on the inside that counts'? If you can't even love yourself, why should we love ourselves?"

That's a very good question my dear reader. Which we'll get back to answering in just a sec.

You see, I have stressed the importance of self-love and inner beauty throughout my blog not only because I want you to love yourself, but because I have such trouble with it myself. I slip up and tend to progress backward when it comes to these things. I think that's why I gravitate toward these topics and become passionate about them, because I truly want to get my point across (to you AND me).

So, back to your question. Why should we love ourselves? Because not only is it beneficial, it's like this weight has been lifted off your soul. It's like you're seeing the world through new eyes...

I'm Rose. I'm seventeen years old and my nostrils may be uneven, but I love myself anyway.

What do you find beautiful about yourself?

Thanks for reading. <3
xx Nicole Rose

The Winner of the Custom Blog Design is...

It's February 1st which means the 150 followers giveaway has ended. I'd like to thank all of you who joined. I got over 450 entries (WOW) and a total of 35 people entered - which is totally mind blowing. :)

Now, I guess I better make this short and sweet, so the winner of the blog design is...

Beth Jones!

Just as a reminder the winner was drawn randomly through Rafflecopter. :)


Congratulations Beth! Be on the lookout for an email from me. :)

Thanks again to all who entered. And come back soon because another giveaway is on the way. ;)

Happy February, darlings.

Coming soon:

Feel Better Playlist
Turning A Bad Day Into A Good One
Link up



xx Nicole Rose

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