how do you do that linkup

I recently posted a few lists of things that I don’t get (past lists here and here) basically asking people who are good at stuff, or the universe in general, “how do you do that?” I’ve put together another list today and created today’s how do you do that linkup so I can see the things that you all wonder about too (linkup below)! If you didn’t do a blog post, leave a comment with your list. So again – asking how do you do that…?

via / via / via

… people who don’t kill all their plants? I’m a little better at not killing 100% of my plants but I have awful luck with orchids. If you’re an orchid and want a long, healthy life, don’t come live with me.

… people who bake? I love eating baked goods but have little patience for baking. I can make cookies but I only do it a few times a year. I have the world’s tiniest kitchen and it is immediately a huge mess the second I even pull out the baking ingredients. We’ll blame it on that.

… people who don’t eat the free bread restaurants give you before dinner? Even if I’m not hungry, I will absolutely eat it and most likely ruin my meal. Especially if there is some sort of olive oil dipping sauce. Don’t try to stop me and don’t judge me!

… people who always find the best parking spot (also known as “rockstar parking” amongst my group of friends)? I’m always stuck parking in the narrowest spot where I can barely open my door to shimmy out of my car.

… all brides? I have about 5 months to go before my wedding and all the planning hurts my brain. We went to our tasting the other day and I kept asking the dumbest questions. And when our venue’s coordinator was asking me questions, I kept saying “uhh… I don’t know. What do you suggest?” #worstbride

… cute girls at the gym? I look like a sweaty mess and am using the sleeve of my extra-large free t-shirt to wipe my brow, while you’re over there wearing a cute tanktop and booty shorts.

… people who can pronounce “sommelier”? They kept saying it on a recent Parks and Rec episode and later I was trying to tell Jarrod about the episode and I realized I could not say the word. Like, I could hear it correctly in my head, but my mouth wouldn’t allow me to pronounce it. I’m a classy one right here. Oh and side note – I can’t say “Saturday Night Live” at a normal speed without getting tongue tied. I swear I have normal speaking abilities usually.

people who nap? I’m still envious of you.

… bloggers who have posts scheduled way in advance? I’ve read so many great tips on this but my brain just can’t get organized enough. Maybe one day.

… Beyonce? Just everything. Give me your secrets.

Now share your “how do you do that?” moments in the linkup below!

It’s simple, just follow me via Bloglovin or another method (links in the header) because it’s super nice (insert smiley, winking emjoji here), add a link back to my blog or use the pretty button I made all by myself below (it’s not very impressive) and read other people’s “how do you do that?” moments. Let’s check out everyone’s lists and be in awe of Beyonce’s other people’s mad skills together! Excited to check out the posts!

Jade and Oak

Linking up with: Treasure Tromp – Treat Yo Self Thursday

do what you love because you have to

First Position - jadeoak.com(photo via)

I finally watched the movie First Position, a documentary about young ballet dancers competing in the Youth American Grand Prix. It’s a competition for young ballet dancers all over the world and it helps them earn medals, scholarships or contracts to join some of the most prestigious dance academies/companies all over the world. I can’t imagine ever working so hard at anything as these dancers have worked to even get to the point where they are competing for something so prestigious. As you know, I’m a hobby ballet dancer. Though I took some classes when I was younger, I really started ballet at the ripe old age of 24 and pointe classes at age 27. Most professional dancers start dancing when they are really young, around 3 to 5 years old and female dancers usually begin pointe at around age 12. So you can see how I will never be a profesh dancer. Sad face. But this movie reminded me about passions – you do what you love because you have to.

Whether you are a dancer or not, this movie is amazing. These kids work so hard and it shows all the hard work that goes into professional dancing. I have previously mentioned all the reasons why I think ballet is good for you. This post initially had a different theme, until I went to dance class last night. I hadn’t been in a few weeks and recently got some disappointing (unrelated) news. I went into ballet class almost more out of habit than because I had a real desire to go. I also stayed for my teacher’s modern class afterwards. I’m pretty awful at modern dance but it’s a good workout and I had some makeup classes to use, so I figured why not. In those 3 hours (yes, 3 hours) of dancing, I didn’t think about my problems once. I’m not the best dancer and I get frustrated with myself but, for those 3 hours, I was free of my outside worries and problems.

At the end of the modern class, our teacher told us to really dance – don’t worry about the steps or the counts or the details, but to just make it our own. I know I was still not great, but she told us at the end how good it was to see us all actually dance it and just let go. Because dance (or any creative thing we love) isn’t about being perfect – it’s about losing ourselves in it. We all have that thing we love – dance, running, art, charity work, cooking, whatever. These are the things we aren’t obligated to do, but that we need to do for ourselves, to feel whole.

Ugh I hate being preachy, but after being in a slump, it just felt good to be free for a bit. After class, I listened to some Beyonce on my drive home, which reminded me of dancing with friends at the wedding this weekend. I am positive we all looked like drunken idiots, but I had the best time. Even though Jarrod pointed out that my signature move was something like this and that I should never do it again -

conan-finger-wave-late-night-with-conan-obrien-9887638-328-2841

(via)

So I guess the point here is – find the thing that you have to do – not because someone else told you that you need to do it. But the thing you lose yourself fully in, the thing that clears your mind, the thing that makes you feel like the best version of yourself. And do it. Often.

What do you  love to do? (Also don’t forget to link up tomorrow for “How Do You Do That?” – a linkup about things that confuse us. Check out my last post here.)

5 blogging resources you aren’t using (but should!)

blogging resources - jadeoak.com

I am not a blogging expert of course, but I have been blogging for nearly 2 years and continuing to learn different bloggy tips and tricks. There are lots of ways to promote your blog, including the traditional ways on social media that you’re probably already doing (things like twitter, facebook, pinterest, etc.) but here are another 5 blogging resources you aren’t using (but should!) Check it out!

1. Stumbleupon

I don’t get a ton of traffic from Stumbleupon, but it’s another place to promote my posts. Also I actually find other great websites/blogs from Stumbleupon, which is a great way to expand my blogging network. If you’re like me, you read a lot of the same types of blogs, but I love finding new ones and meeting more bloggers.

2. Giveaway Promote

We all know that giveaways are a great way to promote your blog, get new followers, find new blogs and win/giveaway awesome stuff. Using Giveaway Promote is a way to promote your giveaway to reach more entrants (as the name suggests). I know that giveaways can be controversial to some bloggers, since people say that it’s buying followers or you’re just getting new followers without new actual regular readers. But I still think giveaways are worthwhile. Even if only a percentage of your new followers become readers, those are new readers you might’ve not reached without the giveaway. I have definitely found some amazing new blogs that I might’ve never found without the giveaway. Plus who doesn’t like giving away something awesome??

3. @MondayBlogs on Twitter

On this Twitter account – you tweet your Monday blog post and they retweet your post out to over 6,000 followers. Another great way to reach some new followers and also find new blogs to check out too.

4. The SITS Girls Facebook Group

Join this group and join in on the Facebook chats. There are several prompts per week on ways to get new followers for your blog and social media sites. It’s a quid pro quo kinda thing where you find new blogs and new readers find you. For free! The SITS Girls site also has some awesome resources as well.

5. Join a niche Pinterest group

We all know that Pinterest is a great way to find new readers. I’m part of a group called Pugterest which has over 4,500 followers. Not only have I made new pug mama friends through this group but it expands my Pinterest reach as well. Another group I just found is The Blogging Collective where bloggers pin their own work and repin others’ work. Win/win.

These are just a few ways that I promote my blog and posts besides in just traditional social media ways. Hope these help you promote and grow your blog too! Anyone else have some other tips?

Speaking of finding new followers via giveaways, here’s a FABulous giveaway for you all and it’s super easy to enter – just follow some Twitter accounts. Easy peasy!

350-Cash-Twitter-GiveawayBrought to you by:
Travel Babbles, Sophistifunk, Back East Blonde, The Life Of Bon, Two Thirds Hazel, Fizz and Frosting, We Took The Road Less Traveled, Living In Another Language, Helene In Between, Jade & Oak, Treasure Tromp, Classic and Bubbly, Love The Skinnys, Living In Yellow and The Foley Fam Unedited

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*This giveaway ends on April 21st, 2014. The winning entry will be selected via Rafflecopter and will be verified. This giveaway is open internationally to anyone with a PayPal account. Good luck!*

arm party, wedding weekend & pugs in the sun

How was everyone’s weekend? I was part of my friend’s super amazing wedding which made for a fun and busy weekend. The bridesmaids spent all day Saturday together in the hotel getting ready, eating macarons, drinking champagne and playing Beyonce’s Drunk in Love. Remember how I like to put on all of my friends’ engagement/wedding rings when we hang out? Well here is my version of arm party (don’t worry I didn’t wear all those to the wedding). My friend Ali did my amazing hair and her sister Adrienne did everyone’s makeup. And oh yeah, the bride Christie looked pretty amazing, right?

christiewedding01

Can’t forget a blurry photo with me and my man, right? Oh iPhone – your flashless photos are grainy blurry perfection.

christiewedding02

Sunday was full of extreme lazing around. I started watching Orphan Black which I am loving so far. I finished binge-watching Scandal about a week ago and need to wait til Season 3 is on Netflix. Arrrgh. Oh and the pugs were really into lazing around with me too obviously. When they weren’t laying all over me, they were sunning themselves. Check out their progression (or pug-gression, ooh snap!) of photos below. Look at their little tetris-ing of themselves into that sun spot. So smart!

pugsunHow was everyone else’s weekend? I am so tired from the weekend. I need a day off after my weekend off! Oh and don’t forget to join in on my new linkup this Thursday - called “How Do You Do That?” It’s a linkup where we post about the things we don’t understand, such as how I don’t understand how to do a cateye or how to make a perfect omelet. Can’t wait to check out everyone’s posts!