December 15, 2014

•GUEST POST• Roxy Taylor on Unwrapping the Christmas History of Mistletoe





You don’t have to be a hardcore Christmas fanatic to know about the Christmas tradition of kissing underneath the mistletoe. So where does the tradition come from and how different is it today from its original roots? Before you pucker up under the mistletoe at the next Christmas party, learn the reason why.

Mythic Mistletoe

Norse mythology’s hammer-wielding god of thunder Thor had a grandson named Baldur who was firmly convinced that every animal and plant was out to kill him. To assuage the god’s fear, his mother and wife set out to ask all of the plants and animals to promise not to hurt Baldur--all except for mistletoe. When Baldur finally felt relief from his fear, he stepped outside only to receive an arrow made from mistletoe to the chest, killing him.

Since then, it’s become a tradition to hang mistletoe over the door as a reminder to never forget what happened to Baldur and we kiss underneath the plant as a way to remember what Baldur’s wife and mother forgot. For other theories behind mistletoe, check out Ghurka’s blog article.

Druids & Mistletoe

Another story about the tradition of mistletoe stems from druids who used to hang mistletoe over the door because they thought that it had magical properties and could bring luck. There are also some who say that mistletoe brings fertility. The most modern interpretation of the beloved plant is that each time a guy kisses a girl under the mistletoe he has to pluck a berry from the bush. Once all of the berries have been removed from the bush, the guy can no longer steal a kiss.

The Truth Is in the Trees

The truth about mistletoe is that it evolved from sandalwood and grew on the branches of trees rather than the roots in order to better siphon the necessary nutrients, sugar, and water. Another advantage of growing on branches is that the towering trees acted as an elevator for mistletoe, allowing it to gain altitude and sunlight with a minimum of effort.

Another advantage of mistletoe being able to grow in tree branches is that it was better able to colonize thanks to the berries that it grew, berries that birds ate, digested, and excreted onto branches, making it possible for the mistletoe seeds to germinate. When we kiss under the mistletoe, it symbolizes the bird kissing the seeds of the plant and the kiss of the seed as it lands on a branch. While not as exciting as the legend of Baldur or the magical properties associated with the plant, this version is nonetheless important to learning more about the tradition of mistletoe.

The next time you’re at a Christmas party and find yourself under a sprig of mistletoe, you’ll better understand the history of the plant and why you pucker up for the next guy or girl who passes your way.   

This is a sponsored post.  Original mistletoe ball image via southernliving.com 

December 11, 2014

[THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP]


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   



That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
That Friday Blog Hop

December 4, 2014

[THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP]


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   



That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
That Friday Blog Hop

November 20, 2014

[THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP]


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   



That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
That Friday Blog Hop

November 13, 2014

[THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP]


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   



That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
That Friday Blog Hop

November 7, 2014

Pinterest Is Judging You

I feel like I need to welcome myself back to the blogging world.  Blogging world, I've missed you.  Blog readers, I've missed you too.  I get a little giddy when I read you comments & they make my day a little better.  Hopefully things have mellowed out a bit in real life so I can get back to what I enjoy doing.

So have you heard about Pinterest's new feed algorithm?  Yeah, it's kind of like Facebook's current iteration of their home feed.  You see what's popular, what's most commented/liked, etc. instead of a chronological listing of updates.  In all honesty, I liked the old Facebook feed better.  I liked a chronological listing of updates.  I could just scroll until I was caught up.  But alas, the old days are gone.  And Pinterest decided to join the ranks of what I'm going to call the {popular feed}. 

To sit at the popular table on Pinterest, you've got to get your pins up to their standard of value.  What I mean is, your pins might not get seen at all unless they meet these new guidelines.  One way ticket to Bummertown, please.

While you may still see a few pins based on who you're following, the Pinterest Wizards are somewhere secretly judging your pins.  They're determining what your pin is "worth".  The determining of that "worth" is what determines how many people will feast their eyes on your pins.   

Now you'll get a feed chock full o' pins related to ones you've already pinned.  Those related pins will be the ones that scored well in the new algorithm.  The kicker is now you'll see pins from people you don't follow too.  Which, I guess, is a good thing since it opens the door for the discovery of new pinners.
  

So, basically, to get your pins seen, you have to play nice.  Pinterest likes uniformity, apparently.  So all those boards you have that have funny names aren't going to be helpful if people are looking for certain things.  For example, your board "I Wanna' Guac!", a board full of guacamole recipes & a punny homage to Twisted Sister, isn't going to get as much play as say, a board called "Guacamole Recipes".  Sad, but true.

You've also got to make sure that the pin you're adding has an actual website that links back to it.  What's the point of pinning something that won't be useful to someone else?  Nothing is more frustrating (okay, many things are more frustrating but you get my drift) than clicking a pin to find out where you can get something and having it show up to some random, unaffiliated page, or worse, a non-existent website.

Take sexy pics, yo.  I'm not talking about chicky-chicky-boom-boom pics, obviously.  What I mean is --- put your best food (ie: image) forward.  Make sure the lighting is good, that your subject is the main focus of the photo.  Pinterest likes photos that are longer than they are wide, so that's good to remember as well. 

Give your photo a name it can be proud of.  One that clearly defines what the photo is, what it does, what it's about, etc.  Keywords are important.  Leave the hashtags to Twitter & Instagram; the best way to help yourself in this case is to use words that you'd think people would search for.  (ie: #feltflowers isn't going to go over as well as felt flowers would in search.) 

It wouldn't hurt to go back to some of the pins you've personally pinned and tweak the description a little bit.  I bet it will pay off. 


November 6, 2014

[THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP]


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   



That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
That Friday Blog Hop

October 30, 2014

[THAT FRIDAY BLOG HOP]


Happy hopping everyone! Thanks for joining us again for That Friday Blog Hop which goes live every Thursday evening at 8pm EST. So join us each week & link up your blogs, social media outlets, or anything you'd love to share. 
   

 
http://thefitnessbricks.com/


That Friday Blog Hop: Join Us Every Thursday Evening

While there are no rules, we would love it if you would :::
- Stop by the hosts & co-hosts blog and follow along
- Say hi to new bloggers and leave a wonderful comment
- Grab the button and/or tweet about the blog hop as well
- Come back every Thursday evening to join in the party
- If you are interested in being a co-host for an upcoming week, send an email here
That Friday Blog Hop