Category Archives: introduction

Simply Three Cents is Social

While I am taking my time telling my stories here on the blog, you can follow me on Twitter at @SmplyThreeCents for more timely content.

If you want to like the page Simply Three Cents on Facebook, you’ll get my blogs right in your news feed.

Happy New Year

Once I returned from South America I spent a fair amount of time writing blogs to get (and stay) ahead of real-time. I had months of scheduled posts with the hope to keep writing to stay ahead and with job searching, working and planning a wedding, I just never got ahead of myself. I came to the end of those scheduled posts just before the end of 2012. I have a fair number of draft posts that I am ready to finalize and can start to schedule now. My hope is that once I have them scheduled from now until the end of January, I can spend some time writing to get (and stay) ahead.

I love writing and keeping a journal of my travels on my blog. With that said, I want to make some changes and improvements to my blog for the coming year.

Instead of saying I want to write a better blog (which I do), I have provided specifics on things that I’d like to change and/or learn in order to write that better blog. If I make my goals public, at least I’ll be held accountable if by no one but myself.

I’d like to spice things up. I think there have been posts that are a little bit dry (and I’m the one telling the story!). I want to tell my stories (albeit I am little behind*) from my time in South America and travels since then — without boring anyone or feeling like a braggart. I want to improve my writing and story-telling with each post. I want to make my blog more visually appealing — using at least one photo in each post (starting in this one). I know not every post is going to be spectacular, but I’d like to cut back on the number that are less than stellar. As I prepared this post, I figured out the new tools to fix photo size and placement — which I should have learned before I published the previous post.

I want to learn more about WordPress and its latest tools so that posting pictures is easier. I want to make the process of using WordPress easier on my end. I want to decide what to do with my Simply Three Cents Facebook page since I don’t utilize it other than a place to push out my posts. Should I post in real-time on Facebook with other travel content like I do on Twitter? Should I create a Simply Three Cents logo (since the current logo utilizing three pennies are lame)? Why do the posts that push to Facebook showcase the WordPress logo (maybe because those posts are missing photos?) I’d like to decide what’s the best use of each of the tools I use with my blog.

I have done a fair amount of writing this year for online publications — both paid and pro-bono. I’d love to continue writing for various publications so long as they will have me.

I follow a lot of travel blogs, and while I don’t ever anticipate this to be on the caliber of those (since I am not looking to make my blog a business), I am inspired by a lot of what I see there so I know what greatness looks like IF you dedicate a lot of time to your site with the intention of making a living on it. I’m just not looking to do that right now for a variety of reasons. If I can keep a chronicle of my travels to entertain, inspire and motivate others, in a relatively clean format with consistent and engaging blog posts, I’d be happy with that.

If you’ve been reading, I thank you. If you’re new, welcome. Feel free to use the tools to the right to see older posts based on geography or category. If you like my blog, or a post, feel free to share it. If you hate something, let me know. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.

*I’m way off in terms of timing from my adventures in South America but the stories are still there to tell. Please bear with me.

Me in the Tram Car Above Salta, Argentina


Resolutions #indie2012

Were you reading Simply Three Cents during the month of November? You may recall that I participated in the BootsnAll #indie30 writing challenge.

If you have no idea what I am referring to, throughout the month of November, BootsnAll posted a daily prompt encouraging participants to write about a topic specific to indie travel.

If you want to see my posts from the last challenge, type in #indie30 in the search bar about halfway down on the right side of my homepage.

The BootsnAll #indie30 was so successful that BootsnAll has introduced a 2012 indie writing challenge. They will provide a prompt once a week, for every week, throughout 2012.

The prompt for week one of BootsnAll’s #indie2012 writing challenge is aptly titled RESOLUTIONS.

Share with us your 2012 indie travel list. Part resolutions list, part bucket list, the list should help you focus your travel plans so you can take concrete steps to achieve your travel goals.

My most successful 2011 resolution?

Starting a blog and publishing a post a day. Check.

Not only do I love crossing things off my to do list, but I love making lists.

In no particular order, here are my 2012 resolutions:

  • Get in better physical shape
  • Drop some lbs like my kick-ass sister and brother-in-law
  • Participate in yoga or core fitness classes
  • Pursue freelance writing
  • Try Couchsurfing
  • Volunteer through WWOOF
  • Engage with the Slowfood organization
  • Participate in Spanish language exchanges at home and abroad
  • Take a cooking class
  • Incorporate positive influences from other cultures into my life

And there’s one more. It makes the list every year.

  • Eat more vegetables

Do tell, what are your resolutions?

My Favorite Posts of 2011

As 2011 comes to an end, I wanted to post a top ten list of my favorite posts this year but I went over a bit. Oh well.

But readers, I have a question for you. Was there a post I wrote that YOU liked, loved or was otherwise memorable? I’d love to know which one(s)!

There are a variety of ways to search for it through the blog, by date, by category, by tag or by a good old-fashioned search bar. Please write the name of the post or copy the link into the comments below.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2012 to you and your family. Thanks for reading.

And in no particular order:

Love Affair #indie30

Unleashing My Inner Imelda Marcos

You Say It’s a Split-Flap

Bear With Me

Outdoor Space, a Washing Machine, Oh My!

If I Knew Then What I Know Now

How to Shit Around the World

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance?


A Little Bit of Springtime

40 Days and 40 Nights

A Family History

Simply Spectacular

Eggs and Bread

Mile 25

At the close of 2010, I knew that I wanted to write more in 2011 and created this blog as a way to force me to do that and went a step farther to make it my 2011 New Year’s Resolution. I knew when I sat down to write, the words would come out.

As excited as I was to see what would come out, I was also a little overwhelmed. I had seen other blogs and the number of posts. 200 or 5000 posts. As you looked in their past posts, there were lengthy lists of past posts, tagged with topics or by months, and there were plenty of posts.

My only goal was to have one post a day for a year and I thought this was going to take me forever – well, 365 days to be exact, which felt like an eternity.

My biggest question to myself was in order to meet this one post a day goal, what the heck would I write about for 365 days?! Needless to say, I found enough stuff to say.

When I look at the number of posts along the right hand side of the screen I see my posts from the past twelve months, one for each day. It’s like a culmination of hard work, though I found writing pretty fun so I don’t think I can call it work (especially when I’m not getting paid for it).

I have definitely racked the posts up over the past year. It’s like I’m at mile marker 25 of a 26.2 mile marathon (but way less sweaty!). Here’s to the last few days of 2011, and to the last few posts that will complete of (one of) my 2011 New Year’s resolution(s).

Yay. And wow. At the same time.

Day 335

Entering the last month of my year-long challenge to myself. Wow.

It started as a New Year’s resolution to get myself doing what I love, writing. And it worked.

I can’t believe it. Only 31 days left.

Just wanted to say thanks for following along. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing.

Subscribers: a note for you from me

If you subscribe to my blog, you may have been bombarded with emails as I played a game of blog catch up today.

As I made my New Year’s Resolution, one of my goals was to get myself writing consistently, with a post a day for one year.

I apologize. I got behind, very far behind. I usually have drafts saved and ready to go…and as I came up with ideas, I just got behind on actually writing those posts.

If you experienced a barrage of emails earlier today, I apologize. But thanks for reading. Now I should be caught up, and then some!

Short and Sweet

With no more adieu.

Wise words from a wise woman.

Can You Believe It? Six Months In — An Assessment

First, thanks for reading.

And thank you for your encouragement. I love writing and I am very excited that the blog, that started as a New Year’s resolution, has encouraged me to think about writing nearly every day over the past six months.

Writing has become very much a priority for me, which is what I ultimately hoped for when I started writing this blog.

I am really happy with the progress I have made. In the past four months, I have made  leaps and bounds and more bounds and some that haven’t been made, quite yet. I’ve even been featured as a guest blogger!

I figured out how to navigate WordPress even at its most basic and I now know what a widget is. When I figured out what kind of bells and whistles you can add to your page, I made it my mission to try and figure out how to do it (or enlist a friend or two to help me). And we were successful, most of the time.

I also created a Simply Three Cents Facebook page. Go on, check it out. Like it.

After sifting through various discussion groups on which site best feeds WordPress content to Facebook, I found and linked my blogs to which delivers (get it, deliver it?) my blog directly to the Facebook feed. I haven’t been able to figure out how you can put a ‘like’ button on the blog that will allow you to ‘like’ the blog on Facebook but hey, it’s a work in progress. If you have the know-how to help with that, by all means, let me know!

As with every work in progress, it’s always good to take a step back every so often and take a look to see where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going, metaphorically and literally.

What I think is the good stuff, is not feasible because I am not on permanent vacation. But there’s plenty to write about where I am and where I’ve wound up (hopefully that was just a one-off event). Obviously not every post is about a fantastic, far-away land but it gets me writing and that’s my own personal goal.

I’ll still write letters when a company has done wrong and I’ll applaud them for when they’ve done good. I will always find myself in odd situations and uncomfortable ones too. I love to people watch so I will still report back on many of my observations.

I’ve found online writing groups that provide creative writing prompts, so I hope that fodder will inspire future posts. Things like ‘what’s the first thing that pops into your head in the morning’ (I have to pee) or ‘what comes to mind when you hear the phrase prolonged exposure (um, skin cancer). Not sure where these prompts will take the blog…but I am eager to find out and I hope you will continue on this journey with me.

Thanks again for the encouragement, support, and feedback. It is very much appreciated.

If you’ve just joined the party, jump right in. I have heard that the best way to catch up is to just start from the beginning. You can also search by tags (all travel) or categories (various subjects) along the right hand side of the blog for a genre that piques your interest.

Thanks again for sticking around.

Trying to go Viral

Still trying to figure out how to get the blog to coincide with a Facebook fan page. Want to get it so comments are redirected to the blog, and not to Facebook. Have any ideas?