A Post About Nothing In Particular

This post is going to be pretty short and sweet. As the title implies, it’s a post about nothing in particular. I’ve spent most of the last week sitting on my couch working on The Great Canadian Housewife, taking a crash course in blog monetization, and setting up a mailing list. Today I worked on creating a header for that blog and then I created one for this blog and changed the theme (somewhat) on this one. It’s still the same theme, one I created months ago and have been using ever since, I love it and it’s super easy to customize. So why start from scratch when you don’t need to right?

Oh, the picture above of the dragonfly?… has nothing to do with anything. My particular theme today. Not in a bad mood or anything, just the opposite, it’s just been a day of tying up loose ends with both blogs and thinking more about school and getting anxious a little as the date approaches closer and closer. Only 16 days till I start I am excited but just as the days get closer those normal concerns and anxieties anyone gets are setting in.

We had to go down the valley the other day for an appointment that was not canceled due to COVID-19 so on the way back we decided since we were already out on the roads we would take our time and just go up into the mountains and down to the water on the other side in a few places. I took a few pictures. I did not realize when I did though that someone (could have even been me since it’s been a while since I picked it up) and messed with the settings and so none of the images turned out that well.

Other than that it’s been a pretty quiet (and cold) week and Eddie’s been working and there is nowhere we can go so it was pretty boring. One highlight of the week (well, today really) is that the NS government has lifted or modified a few more restrictions, nothing major but we are allowed to have a two-family bubble now. Basically for anyone who’s area is not doing this it’s where two families can get together without social distancing, the catch is they have to be mutually exclusive and not join with any other families. Also can’t have gatherings such as barbeques or reunions, I think you still have to follow the no more the 5 people gathering things still. Works for us since there is 3 of them (mom, dad, Denton) and two of us (Eddie and I).

Basically, in a nutshell, that means that if my brother did not live at home with my parents they would have to choose between him and us. No big deal for us since he does live at home, that and if he didn’t it wouldn’t be that hard a choice for us because Eddie and I are self-sufficient and Denton really is not and I don’t think would be able to handle it so it would be obvious they would have to do the two-family bubble with him. Thankfully we don’t have to make that decision, but a lot of families will have too.

Other than that, they are opening beaches, golf courses, equestrian, tennis, archery, paddling, boating, and sailing as well (how can you tell I live in the Maritimes? :lol ) provided social distancing, environmental cleaning and participant hygiene can be maintained.

So that’s it for this post about nothing in particular, funny, I actually had a lot more to say then I thought, being couped up is starting to get to me…

Introducing The Great Canadian Housewife!

I’ve mentioned on this site in passing back in March that I was working on a new project. A blog for me to separate things such as recipes, product reviews, crafts, and a lot more from this blog as I want to keep this as more of a personal journal-type blog. I’d like to introduce The Great Canadian Housewife! I have finally gotten it to where I want it and starting to work on monetizing it. I think I have also mentioned before that I really wanted to sort of turn blogging into a job. Well, since I am going back to school and taking web development I figured this would just be another project that would provide me with experience and give me another project to work on.

Initially, I had planned to create my own theme for it but when I was looking around for ideas I stumbled upon the theme I am using for it in on a blog in a post for free WordPress themes. I sometimes will download a theme, play around with it and see what I can do with it, mainly for practice and inspiration but once I got in there and started customizing it a little I realized it turned out perfectly the way I wanted it so I figured for now why spend the time making one from scratch when it works perfectly. Eventually, I will but for now, I actually ended up really liking the theme. It has some elements in it I really like and am not able to re-create myself (for now).

The name, The Great Canadian Housewife came to me one day when I was trying to come up with a domain name and project and I was thinking about shows and thought about The Great Canadian Race and I wanted the blog to be themed towards being a housewife, maybe one day a mother, and about all the fun things you can do right in the comfort of your own home and the name came to me while I was thinking about it and I fell in love with it and registered it that night. The only bad thing I would have to say about it is the length but at the same time, it’s pretty easy to remember.

Obviously the blog has “Canadian” in it because I am Canadian (and frankly I didn’t think about using Nova Scotia) but you don’t have to be Canadian to enjoy it. It’s for everyone!

So please go visit, comment and let me know what you think of The Great Canadian Housewife!

Creating a WordPress theme

First off, I’m going to apologize, this is not a tutorial or anything like that. Just observations. I’ve had this theme a while now. It was completed mostly from scratch from a blank starter template because I am too lazy to code it from the beginning (and honestly I am guessing I am not the only one, it’s beyond laziness it’s about productivity). I don’t really know everything I need to do to make one that will be responsive etc, so I started with _s (underscores) and then it was suggested to me on the WordPress forums to switch to components a little while back as it was more up-to-date. At the time I was just getting started with _s and getting used to taking a design which I had conceptualized either in my head and/or in Photoshop and turning it into a theme in WordPress, so I wanted to continue with _s before delving into another starter theme.

For those of you not familiar with a starter theme and I am sure a lot if not most of you are but I will give a brief explanation of what it is and why some developers use them. I’m no developer by far but I plan to be one eventually. Basically a starter theme is a WordPress theme that is blank with minimal or no design, they usually come with the most commonly used templates in WordPress. You can add templates, edit the existing ones, change and add CSS and much more. So why should WordPress Developers consider using a starter theme? Well, it gives them a head start on projects, gives them a good solid base to start on whether they have created their own starter theme that they re-use, or whether they are using one of the other good ones that are out there already.

I hope one day to create my own starter theme that I will use for projects with everything I think a good solid design needs and with options that can be added or omitted for certain types of designs. I think once you have a good foundation of PHP and WordPress templates along with HTML and CSS it should not be too hard to do. It has taken me a while to get this theme where I want it. I have been working on it ever since I put it up back at the beginning of the year (or was it last year some time? I don’t even know). I have been able to create a good theme for my blog that I can use as a basis and I want to eventually start re-creating it in components or another starter theme. I’ll look into them more when the time comes.

In the meantime, I have made some changes over the last few days to this theme. Obviously I have changed some of the colors a little (not much) and added a background that shows at the top and bottom to make it less plain looking. I’ve been working on fixing errors, bugs or whatever you want to call them. If you happen to notice any more please let me know. I want to try and recreate and fix them as they are found. I was able to fix a few things as well that were driving me nuts. My 404 and search pages were missing the sidebar and just looked weird so I fixed that as well.

I am not so sure about the responsiveness right now. I have been looking for some good tools to help me test things out so again if anyone knows of any please let me know what your go-to tools are for testing your websites. I know for instance that depending on your screen size the menu may not look quite right. I have tried to fix it but not 100% sure I have. I am not sure how to make a good responsive menu and looking it up has not really given me anything that seems to work right so I a still working on that and a few other things especially when viewing the site from a mobile phone or tablet.

So far I really feel a sense of accomplishment with what I have taught myself over the years and it just goes to further cement in my mind that this is the right option for me. I love this and could not imagine a life without blogging and creating themes and designing websites. Right now I am most comfortable with WordPress but I want to start learning and exploring some other content management systems and website and blogging platforms that are popular at the moment (or at that time). I am really happy where things are headed and feel like I finally have found something I am good at and now I am finally realizing that with a bit of guided structure I can become much better and really make a good career out of it.