Tag Archives: blogging

Self-hosted domain -> www.naomiinwonderland.com

Just a quick message to let everyone know, who stills uses my wordpress URL that naomiinwonderland.wordpress.com won’t be updated anymore after this message! I moved all my content yesterday to a self-hosted domain, BlueHost. I however still work with wordpress (.org now) & www.naomiinwonderland.com is still in use so if you click that link you’ll be automatically transferred to the new domain! Easy right.

To my lovely subscribers, WP is currently moving all of your lovely subscriptions to the new website. If you’ve subscribed via e-mail you’ll continue to receive an e-mail with every new blog post. If you’ve subscribed through wordpress, you will continue to see my posts in your feed, however if you also want to receive an e-mail for each new post, you’ll have to re-subscribe! You can find the new subscription box in the sidebar, on the new website, on the right.

I’m very excited about the new host and about all the possibilities I have now. And so stoked for you to see the new design, on the new blog, so soon. I’m also pretty proud of myself that I was able to move all the old content, onto the new one.. including all of your lovely comments! Self-five.

See you on the other side. Tum dum.

 

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Blogging 101: tips & things to think about when starting a blog

I know I’m not a professional blogger, nor do I have years of experience but I’ve been blogging consistently for a (little) while now and I do think I have learned a lot already. I want to share some of the things I’ve learned over time by reading other blogs (and while improving my own) and what I think is important to know.

1. Blogging takes a lot of time
If you want to create a “professional” / good-looking blog you will need to invest a serious amount of time in blogging. I knew that before I started out but I didn’t realize how much time I would end up actually investing in blogging. You pretty much are a one-man company. You are a graphic designer, a writer, a photographer and more.

2. Decide on how many times a week you want to post a new blog
I, at first, was very optimistic and wanted to update my blog every single day. But then I realized how much time I was investing in creating those blogs and I decided I couldn’t do that anymore. Or I had to cut out sleeping of my day & we all know how much I love sleeping. Especially not while wanting to deliver great content and interact with all of you. I now blog about 5 times a week (usually on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday), which is still a lot I think, but this way people “know” when to expect a new blog. I personally feel it looks very inconsistent if you blog 6 times one week and then only once the other week.

3. Good photos
There is nothing more unattractive to see, while reading a great post, then looking at blurry, bad quality photos. You don’t have to run to the store to get the best camera but try to make sure your photos are the same size (length and/or width) and everything but blurry. I use a free editing program called PicMonkey and iPhoto. I sometimes edit photos on my phone, because I’m a huge fan of some photo apps, too.

4. Don’t make your posts too long
I try to limit my posts to a maximum of 1500 words. If I do want to blog more about a certain subject I will post several blogs about that subject and create a little series. This way the reader will most likely read everything you’ve just blogged about.

5. Use links in your posts
We’re all lazy humans. Or at least I can be a lazy human every now & then. When you’re reading a post and you are interested in finding out more about a certain subject/website/anything, you want to be able to just click on a link mentioned in a post and voila. Ain’t nobody got time to google that. I mean, that’s a lie, I just like clicking on links that are already provided. (Edit: Nadya mentioned that adding too many links can make a post look a bit spammy and it may hurt SEO!)

6. Be consistent and organized
With this I mean being consistent when it comes to how many times you blog and how your blogposts look but also how  your blog looks like in general. Maybe I’m a bit OCD, okay I definitely am, but I LOVE reading & visiting blogs that look clean and organized. I get super distracted if there are too many things going on, but again, maybe that’s just me. Welp.

7. Ask questions
When finishing up a blog post, ask your readers a few questions. I love interacting with other bloggers and when you’re reading a fun post it’s always nice to get involved & be interactive. That way you’ll create a relationship with your readers.

8. Create an “about” & “contact” page
I love getting to know the person behind the screen. I like reading about the lovely human who’s writing all these great & interesting posts down and sharing all those beautiful photos. A contact page is obviously also very useful for when someone wants to get in touch with you, of course. Again, we (I’m just talking about myself again) are lazy and it’s easier when it’s just there.

9. Don’t spam on other blogs
Leave comments on other people’s posts when you’ve actually read the blogpost. Leaving a one-word comment behind, then adding all your social media accounts, looks very copy-paste to me. I love receiving comments from people but I love it even more when someone has actually read the post or looked at the photos.

10. Credit others
I tend to only use my own photos (and I obviously write all my own content) but whenever I do use a photo from somewhere I immediately make sure I credit my source. It’s not cool to steal from others (content or photo-wise) and it’s actually kind of illegal. So just to stay out of trouble (and to be fair to whoever owns the original photo and/or content) credit them!

11. Be you
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. I know it’s a little intimidating (hell I still think pretty much every blog is intimidating) when you see other bloggers who create great content & have a beautiful designed blog, but those people have probably been blogging for quite a while. If you write from the heart or share your passion, people will genuinely love hearing what you have to say.

12. Create great blog titles
Google picks this up a lot quicker and it’s kind of the same as reading a newspaper. When you read an exciting or intriguing headline you will immediately be interested!

13. Carry around a notebook
I have a pretty good memory but I always have a notebook with me. Just in case. I sometimes get inspiration while watching TV, while eating, while blogging, while reading other blogs, anyway you get the point. My little notebook is filled with ideas I will and want to blog about in the future, for whenever I don’t have inspiration.

14. Interaction
I know I sort of already mentioned it in #7 & #9 but interacting with other bloggers and readers is a great idea. Not because you have to, but because it’s so nice knowing what your readers think and hey, they’re taking time out of their day to read what you just wrote so I think responding to (most) of your comments and messages is very important. I love reading comments from people who often visit my blog, it must mean I’m doing something right. Or at least that’s what I like the believe.

15. Quality over quantity
Take your time when you blog. People will overall much rather read 3 good posts a week instead of 7 poorly written ones. Easy as that.

In the end you don’t have to do any of the things I’ve mentioned above, it’s your blog and you have to write because you love to do it (Expect for the crediting, that’s a must). Blog because you want to share your story or talk about your passion. There are only a few select bloggers who have found a full time job in blogging. Do it because this is what you like to do and you have something you want to share with the world. Everything else that might come along with blogging is a plus.

What is the best advice you would give to someone who just started blogging?

February updates!

As if January didn’t pass by quickly enough, February definitely did. Although, in February’s defense, it’s missing some days. I always feel a little bad for those who’s birthday is on the 29th. When do you celebrate then? I always celebrate my birthday for a good month, you know, I just keep on using the “it’s almost my birthday” or “it was my birthday the other day” excuse. Either way, February was a pretty, pretty GREAT month.

(Took this on the boardwalk in Ostend, the sunsets are finally returning)

I did a lot of things, including visiting Sevilla (I’m sure you’ve been able to read all about that gorgeous place on my blog) & visiting the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen to cheer on my favorites (Real Madrid CF) while they were playing their first round of 18 game versus Schalke 04 (spoiler alert: we won and there may or may not be a video on the world wide web of the second goal with an embarrassing Naomi screaming in the background) (I get pretty intense when it comes to sports or anything I love, really).

I’m still on the search for a job, being a graduate is pretty rough at times. So if you want to hire me… Kidding. But only sort of.

I’ve received so many comments over the past couple of weeks, thank you endlessly for visiting, reading & commenting on my posts. I appreciate it more than I can say. You are all wonderful humans and I heart you all. I am still trying my hardest to reply to every single comment & visit your blog as well of course. So feel free to leave your URLS behind. 

The new look is also on it’s way, you may have noticed a different header for now, and I’m excited to (most likely) launch it in March, if not next month then April! 

Some of this months favorite’s blogposts were:

How to pack for vacation
To my heart I must be true: “Chanel N°5 Eau Première” perfume review
Reales Alcázares, the prettiest place on earth
Been there, done that tag
Create your own good vibes jar
Cosmopolitan x Levi’s Denim Night in Amsterdam

Go check ’em out if you haven’t read these already!

And lastly but not least, I finally am updating consistently on the Facebook page I created for Naomi in Wonderland, so pretty please with a cherry on top, go check it out & give it a like!

A love letter to Sevilla

lovelettertosevilla

I’m writing a love letter to Sevilla. The city that inspired me from the second I set foot in Spain. The wonderful people who seem to be living with no stress, even when life isn’t always easy. The siestas and the sangrias. The sun. Sevilla made me smile. Made me realize that no matter what happens in my life, the world is absolutely beautiful and magnificent. The world is inspiring, the world is incredible. Spain is incredible. I’m writing a love letter to Sevilla. I remember eating tapas for just a couple euros. I remember waking up and the Cathedral being the first thing I see when walking outside. The people I’ve met along the way. I’m writing a love letter to Sevilla because Sevilla allowed me to be inspired again. Sevilla showed me I would be okay even when everything isn’t okay. And most importantly. Sevilla told me it would always be there.

Reales Alcázares, the prettiest place on earth

Reales Alcázares also known as The Alcázar of Seville also known as the Royal Palace also known as my new favorite place on earth. I have to thank Sarah Says for this because we at first didn’t think about taking a ton of time out to visit this place, but then I remembered Sarah’s blogpost about Real Alcázar and I knew I would need more time.

We went very early in the morning, I’m certain we entered just a couple minutes after they opened up the doors and I am very happy we did because just a few hours after we got there (yes we stayed there forever) it got super busy.

We walked through the doors and I was already amazed by how beautiful everything looked like. However I wasn’t too surprised because I feel like everything in Sevilla is stunning and I’m sure everything who has visited this city before knows how I feel.

They created plans to build this magnificent place back in 913. Yes, 913. They continued working on it in the 11th century. After the “Reconquest of Sevilla” by Fernando III el Santo in 1248, the history was interwoven with the deeds of the Kings of Castile. And in the 14th century they made it even bigger & even more impressive. They continued to add more details in the 16th century. Pedro I, known by some as “the cruel” would eventually leave a lasting mark on this palace. This palace is the creation of different kings and times. And that’s exactly why it’s so impressive. It’s so detailed you have to stop every five seconds. The handwork that can be found here is just incredible.

Fun detail: the King & Queen stay here when they visit Sevilla.

From the small hallways to pretty much everything else. So stunning. But then.. then we entered the gardens and my jaw dropped. I felt like I just entered real life jungle book. Oh My God. This place is not just a Royal Palace, this place feels like a completely different world. I must have taken over 300 photos of this stunning palace alone.

I especially enjoyed walking around both the gardens of the palace because even without a guide, there was plenty of information to be found everywhere both in English & Spanish.

We also ended up having lunch at the cafeteria in the garden and at the moment I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be there, with a new friend, eating a delicious sandwich & a great cup of tea, while staring out into the garden.

For more details definitely visit their official website. This is not just a place you have to visit, this is THE place you have to visit. Reales Alcázares is, next to the Point Lobos State Reserve in Monterrey (California), my favorite place in the world and easily my favorite place in Sevilla.

I honestly forgot how much tickets were but I think I paid around €10 for mine and my friend who’s still a student barely paid €2.. Once again a huge discount for students, so don’t forget your id + student card and take advantage of this!

Have you ever been before? How incredible does this place look?

PS- I tried posting every single day of the week but if I wanna continue to post interesting, or at least I hope I am posting interesting things, content I’ll have to slow it down a tad so I’ll be uploading a new blogpost 4/5 times a week now!

Leaving for Spain today!

I am leaving for Spain today (I’m so excited) so I scheduled a few posts for the upcoming days. I will have tons of new things to blog about after I get back & I can not wait to share my (hopefully very fun & exciting) stories and photos.

I’ll be uploading photos, taken with my iPhone, on my instagram account & will be tweeting whenever I have the chance. Feel free to follow me on both if you want to stay updated while I’m gone. You know, in case you miss my blogs… Juuust kidding.

Ps- I have no idea how in the world I was able to pack for five days, while everything fits in this tiny (hand luggage) suitcase. I think I officially mastered packing.

To my heart I must be true: “Chanel N°5 Eau Première” perfume review

I’ve been fascinated by the legendary Chanel N°5 perfume ever since I saw a little bottle years & years ago on the night stand of a friend. Back in college I ended up having to work on a French marketing project and we had to present a certain French product and “(re)-introduce” that product during a festival or event. I chose Chanel N°5 and I’ve been madly in love ever since.

Their commercials are visual pieces of art, whether you like the smell of the perfume or not. Chanel obviously has an endless budget and can create the most magical commercials, but my God, those commercials, they’re so beautiful.

Today I wanted to review the actual Eau Première perfume.

As you can see the bottle I bought today is just a re-fill perfume bottle, it contains 60ml and is (way) smaller than the original one. (Less classy as well). Chanel is, as we all know, definitely not cheap, but considering you literally only need to spray once for an entire day, it’s worth the money.

I prefer the scent of the “Eau Première” compared to the traditional N°5 smell. It’s a little lighter, smells ‘fresher’ and is more suitable for every-day use . It contains all the original ingredients: jasmine (my favorite scent in the world), neroli, rose absolute and ylang-yland. Did you know the Jasmine Chanel uses for their perfume comes from fields Chanel owns in Grasse? Mind is blown.

And to quote Marilyn Monroe: “What do I wear in bed? Why? Chanel N°5 of course”

I also wanted to share their newest commercial for the original Chanel N°5 featuring the stunning Gisele Bündchen. The soundtrack is a mesmerizing cover of “The One That I Want”, originally written by John Farrar, sang by John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John  and obviously very well known because of Grease.

What do you think of their newest commercial? Too much or just enough? And are you someone who loves to wear perfume, if so, what’s your favorite fragrance?

January updates!

(I reorganized my desk today, it feels & looks so much better)

I was listening to Christmas music like, yesterday. So I can’t quite believe it’s February in just a couple days.

I’ve gotten so many kind & lovely messages from all of you over the past couple of weeks and it only inspired me to improve my writing, the topics I blog about & the look & design of my blog. I will start working on a complete new look for Naomi in Wonderland very soon. I am also upgrading on wordpress so I can actually completely change every single detail myself!

In the meantime I also updated & refreshed the following pages

• about
• photos
• travel tips
• contact
• partner blogs

Several blogposts have received a pretty big response, both in views & comments, so that makes it easier for me to know what you want me to blog about and it’s always nice reading kind things. In case you’ve missed any of my personal favorite posts of January, go check ’em out!

10 things I would tell my 16 year old self
Liebster Award Nomination
Having no curves means you’re not a real woman
Castle D’aertrycke on a stunning, but cold, winter day
10 things you should definitely do when visiting New York City
Bruges in photos

Thank you for reading and here’s to an even better February!

Visiting Mickey & Minnie Mouse in their kingdom

We had some Hakuna fries at the Hakuna Matata restaurant. THEY WERE SO DELICIOUS. Pretty spicy, but so yummy. They were €3,59 and there were definitely enough fries to share!

We had lunch at a restaurant called Fuente Del Oro. My sister had the €11,99 lunch menu including a drink. She is a vegetarian so it was quite hard to find a decent meal. But the lunch menu was 100% vegetarian! I had a taco menu with churros & a drink for €12,99. Food is expensive in Disney but this wasn’t too expensive and very delicious mexican food.

Yesterday my little sister and I decided to visit Mickey, Minnie and all their friends in their land in Paris. My sister is currently in college and she just finished up her winter finals. So we decided to have a fun day in our favorite place on earth since we found a great deal online. A ‘one day, two parks’ ticket was €60! We had a blast since there were no real lines whatsoever, all the kids were at school, and the weather was alright (read: no rain).

I know I just did a full Disney post, but I wanted to share some photos from our day at the happiest place on earth. All photos are taken with a Nikon D2300.

Liebster Award Nomination

I’m still very new to the whole blogging community so I didn’t even know about this until the wonderful Dora (thank you lady!) from Bangs Bang nominated me for a Liebster Award!

So Liebster Awards are rewarded to bloggers, from other bloggers, with less than 200 followers. When you’re nominated you nominate 11 other bloggers yourself, so that way you get to know and discover more (new) bloggers.

So these are the so called ‘rules’, they’re very simple! You have to mention the person who nominated you on your blog & link them, you answer 11 questions set by the one who nominated you. You end up nominating 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers, so newer blogs I’m assuming and link them. (I hope I got this right since I don’t know how you can figure out how many followers someone has) Create your own 11 new questions to answer. And of course, let the nominees know they’ve been nominated!

So here are my answers to Dora’s questions!

1. What made you start a blog?
Inspired by one of my best friends, Marlies, who started a travel blog. I’ve started blogs several times before but I wanted to actually make something of this one. I started in February 2014, but I didn’t really update the blog until last December. I like blogging because I love writing. And I love that other people seem to enjoy my writing as well.

2. If you could live in any country, which country would that be?
Either America, preferably California, or Spain.

3. If you could be the main character of a book (imaginary or not), which one would that be?
Oliva Pope. Because she’s just bad-ass. Wait Scandal is just a TV show right? I read tons of books but I can’t really think about a character..

4. You most beloved song that you would play on repeat for ever?
Easiest question for me to answer in the world. Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah (originally by Leonard Cohen). It’s my favorite song in the whole wide world and I will never get bored of listening to is. Fun fact: I have “Minor Fall, Major Lift” tattooed on my right ribcage.

5. The biggest dream you want to realize?
I have tons of dreams.. I guessss the biggest one is that I one day get to open up a 360° management/record label. But I also want to travel the world. And move to Spain. Speak fluent Spanish. Live in the LA area. Adopt wolves. I have dreams so big they scare me. But I like it that way.

6. Top three favorite foods.
Belgian French Fries with mayo, Green Fish Curry from a restaurant in Ostend called St-Malo & sushi.

7. Long or short hair?
Difficult question. I prefer long hair for myself but I LOVE short hair on pretty much anyone else.

8. Are you a family or a career person?
Definitely a career person. Like I mentioned before, I have so many dreams I still want to accomplish. I’m sure that one day I’ll have a little family of my own and I absolutely adore my family members, but for now I want to go for my dreams.

9. Black or white?
Black. (Until they create a colour darker than black)

10. What camera do you use?
Nikon D3200 & iPhone 5c

11. Favorite style/fashion blog?
Too many. I already had a hard time picking out 11 nominees for this award.

And last but definitely not least. My eleven nominations & my questions for them!

Pretty Things & Wander Love
Harriets Beauty Box
Following My Own Yellow Brick Road
Courage Dear Heart
Fashion Backyard
Chiquessence
DIY Daisy
Sweet About Me
AyeCeeGee
Beauty By Mel
Suddenly Sonder

1. What’s the story behind your blog name?
2. If you could travel anywhere in this world, where would you travel to?
3. Morning or evening person?
4. Do you prefer Coca Cola or Pepsi?
5. Who’s your biggest inspiration in life?
6. What is your favorite thing to do on a cold Winter evening?
7. Are you a cat or dog person?
8. What movie could you watch over and over again?
9. Best vacation you’ve ever been on?
10. Coffee or tea?
11. What do you want to accomplish in 2015?