Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blog-erview With MYSELF!

Hello everyone! Today is usually Blog-erview day.
But today I thought I would share with you MY interview from Royal Daughters Who Inspire
She interviewed me a couple months back, so I thought I would share the interview here, in case any of you missed it. 
And because I've noticed a lot of new followers!
So if you are new here, you can get to know a little more about me & my blog. :) Enjoy:

Name & Age:
Hello my name is Maria-Isabel and I am 27 years old! I blog over at Agape Love Designs & Photography.

My favorite thing about my hometown is: 
My husband was in the Army for 7 years and was stationed at Ft. Lewis. We got married after he had been two years in, so I of course moved up there to be with him! I fell in love with the "city". I loved how close we were to everything, loved the coffee, loved all the shops and such... but we didnt like the traffic, the crime and the fact that we were 9 hours away from our families. So when he got out, we moved back to our home town of Red Bluff CA. Though I miss being in a big town surrounded by shopping centers.. what I love about my hometown is that its gorgeous, so much land and space. We live in a country "hick" town.. and though I like to make fun of it and call it "Dead Bluff" because of how quiet it is.. I also love that about it too. It feels safe here. I also love that now we are close to family and I get to see and hang out with my sisters who are also my best friends! Aside from that, one of my most favorite things about my home town is all of its history! I LOVE history. Our town has a several Victorian houses and old style store fronts that I love looking at. Every once in a while The Hubs and I will walk around main street and check out all the antique stores. So fun!

(8 colors to choose from)

My Favorite Passage from the Word of God:
This is a hard one.. I have several favorites! Goodness.. and I LOVE worship and hymns... and so many of them come right from wonderful bible verses. However I have been thinking a lot about Proverbs 31 lately, you know... "The Wife of Noble Character"! I know most would look at that passage and be SO intimidated! Goodness... can any one woman be so amazing!?
Its easy to read that and think bad about ourselves, to think we could never live up to those things listed. But I dont believe that God made them to be a list of crazy expectations that we could never live up to. I believe they were given to us, to uplift us! To show us women a variety of power and talents He has blessed us with and that we can posses in Him! It shows the versatility and ability we as women have! We are not weak creatures! We are beautiful and blessed and dearly LOVED by our Heavenly Father!
Here is my favorite part of that passage:  Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;  but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
I especially love that verse, because as woman we can get so caught up in looks, I know I have struggled with it.. and my weight especially! The world wants to tell us what is Beautiful! That you have to be a certain weight, a certain color, wear certain clothes... what ever... but God says, that doesnt really matter in the scheme of things! What makes us beautiful is our hearts, our LOVE for God.. and I believe our love for one another! :)

The Meaning behind my Blog Name:
I get asked a lot what "Agape" means. It can be difficult to explain.. so I have found a good definition online and posted about it on my History of Agape Love Page. Please do check out that page for a more thorough explanation. But the short version: It is pronounced uh-GAH-pay. Agape is the Greek word for Unconditional Love. Its the kind of love that God has for us! 
The main reason I chose this name is because for ONE- Well it is just pretty! 
Two- the meaning is incredible to me! 
Three- I wanted people who knew what it meant to recognize that I was a Christian right away and know that I LOVE Jesus and I am not ashamed! Even with just a glance at my logo (the heart with a cross in it) You know my blog/shop is faith based. I desire to Glorify God in all that I do... after all He is the one who has blessed me with the talents that I have, and I want to give all the praise back to Him. Along with that, I KNEW that there would be some people who didnt know what it meant and would ask! And what a wonderful opportunity it would give me to share God's love with someone who may not have known it otherwise? ;)

I Blog About:
Goodness could I ever really explain? haha I dont really have a "niche" as most bloggers do... I mean I guess you could put me in the photography or crafty blog category. And I am fine with that... Those are the two main things I blog about. But I also blog about so many other things. Its kind of something I struggle with. I am not sure if readers like this or are turned off by it. But the thing is.. I have never liked to put limits on myself when it comes to my talents. I am "nomadic" crafter. I find it hard to stick to just one thing, I LOVE just about everything in the arts and crafts category. I am also a self taught photographer, (heck I am a self taught everything, basically) and I always share my photo shoots on the blog. I call myself a designer & artist because I love to design printables, blogs including my own -(avatar credit goes to Saturated Canary), I design Hair Accessories and Jewelry that usually has a special story behind it! I paint, and sing... I love makeup & fashion so I blog about those things occasionally too! I like to try lots of things and share fun tutorials with my wonderful readers. I totally wish I could sum it up easier than all that... but I guess that is just me. I, write a lot. Sometimes I ramble and go on and on about a subject. I am awkward and shy at times.. which you prolly would never know unless you met me in person! lol I also may or may not be somewhat indecisive- I fear decisions-being the type of person who wants to please everyone, I never want to make a bad decision and disappoint someone! I also tend to go off topic... as I clearly just did... so back on track... other things you can look forward to seeing on my blog aside from off topic rambling is great giveaways for amazing sponsors and my own etsy shop {Agape Love Boutique}! Another thing to look forward to on my blog is a new series Ive started Called Blog-erviews!

Speaking of which, you can totally check out Amanda's blog-erview over on my blog right now! :) 

I would also like to give a little shout out to my other blog Mommy Made. Which is sort of new. But I started it as an online journal for my kids, because I am always compelled to blog about them. Yet I have an overwhelming desire to keep things organized. So I separated my mommy side from my crafty or "business-y"  side. Mommy Made is my Mommy Blog, and I think its a lot of fun with all sorts of adventures, memories, silly stories and kid friendly crafts! I would love for you to check it out too. :)

I am inspired by:
I am inspired by everyday life, God has blessed us with such beauty in this world. Just take a look outside and admire his handy work! My kids, my sisters, my experiences as a mom and wife also inspire me. I am inspired by my dreams. Songs and movies inspire me too. Oh and quotes.. I LOVE a good quote! Who doesnt? lol
 I am inspired by history! I love victorian fashion... and just the history of fashion in general. Its just fun to see how and why people dressed the way they did ages and ages ago! Just about all fashion is recycled and comes from some point in our past! Its fun to see what "new" styles come back into fashion. And it is fun to create things based off of old time fashion too. 
Or try to think about why we do what we do... like where did our customs and traditions come from!? That is why I love history and learning. YES I am a big nerd! :)

Blogs that Inspire Me:
Gosh, I feel like such a bum lately because I have been so busy that I have hardly had time to even check out other bloggers as much as I used to. But there was a time when I would sit and read every single thing that Little Miss Momma posted. She made me laugh and cry with the words she wrote.. She has inspired several posts both on Agape Love & Mommy Made... Like this one on Motherhood! I love blogs with wonderful reading material... though I wish I had more time to read them. 
Often times I am more drawn to fun colorful picture blogs and crafty tutorial blogs, because... well they are fun and pretty to look at and of course they do inspire me to create! Honestly when I see a post with lots of words though I think I would rather be checking out a crafty tutorial. Im a weird one I tell you! I love and hate to read at the same time- which is weird because I love to write and when I sit down to write (like now) I write a lot!! 
When I actually make the time to read the wordy blogs I am so happy I did. And I believe they almost inspire me more. They make me think, they bring forth emotion, questions, memories and a desire to share my own experiences! They make me want to be a better writer. They make me wish I wrote more on my own blog..rather than just do all the "fun" stuff. I actually have several topics saved to the notes section of my phone that I want to write about. I just never give myself the time to do so. But I truly do love to write and am always inspired to do so by other bloggers like LMM.

One tip for newbie bloggers...
I just have to say, when I started out I had NO clue about blogging... I didnt even know the blogging world was so big and so wonderful! I had no clue about networking, linky parties, etsy, or even craft blogging! 
My tip is get a real feel for the blogging community before you start yours! That way you know what you are doing right away.  I dove in head first and it took me a year before I even gained any "real" followers or attention because I just was clueless!
Next (or if you already started your blog and are pretty much a newbie): 
~Make sure your blog design is nice to look at, easy to navigate and clutter free!
~Make sure you have good, quality and steady (as in you are posting more than once a week) content!
Once you get that far the best tips for growing your blog is NETWORKING and LINKING!!
It may seem silly now if you are a newbie... but you need to be prepared if you really plan on growing your blog. Dont "wait until you have a big blog" before you get a twitter account or facebook fan page!! Ive heard so many people say that, and I always encourage them to just go for it NOW! You can gain SO much more exposure with a face book like page! Seriously!
I actually started my facebook page over a year after I started my blog and I already have more followers there than on my blog! And that is great because I always link my posts there! People are on facebook & twitter non stop... I know I check in on my phone several times a day.
And if you dont know about linking or linky parties.. check out my linky party page, I have them organized by day of the week they are held on. Link up your posts or tutorials to each one of them! You gain exposure from each of those bloggers fans and followers each time you do that! I credit a lot of my blog success to them. I am not sure my blog would even have gotten noticed if I hadnt figured them out and started linking my posts properly. Once I did, I started getting featured and gaining followers, interest, comments and so on.

If I were guaranteed to succeed at only one thing, I would pour my heart and soul into: 
Wow.. this question, to be honest, scares me! lol As I mentioned before I dont like making decisions! And though this is only a hypothetical, it still frightens me! Gracious, you know I said I dont like to limit myself... there is so much I LOVE to do. But boil it down to my most important job in this life.. my answer would have to be My Family! Me as a wife and a mother. Having a wonderful solid marriage and good, loving environment for my kids. Bringing them up to know God. To know right from wrong, to do some good in this world... That is what I would chose. 
Of course, just because I don't have to chose, doesn't mean I don't already try to do that anyways! I do... but if I knew I couldn't fail at that, that would be the best choice I could ever make. :)
By the way ^ Thats me & The Hubs up there. 
And those little cuties to the right are my precious little ones. Zander, Bruce & Kiah. I love them so much!

Ok so these were probably the longest interview answers ever, right!? Well congrats to those of you who made it this far. I appreciate you hanging out with and getting to know more about me. :) I do hope you will come on over and visit me on my blog every once in a while!

If you liked reading this... feel free to encourage me to write more often on my blog! I really need the boost! If you thought I rambled too much... Im cool with honestly! Just tell me to stick with the crafting and photography! haha ;) But seriously, just comment... at least to let me know you got through this insanely long post.... so I can give you a big gold star or a high five through my screen. haha

Much Love & Hugs,

1 comment:

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts with me!

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