What’s Going on With Add Vodka?

September 2, 2014 Permalink

If you have been reading over the past month or so, you may have noticed that I’ve been making some changes with Add Vodka. I’ve received a couple of emails from readers asking what is going on with the site, and so as to not leave readers in the dark, here’s an update.

Long-time readers will know that I started Add Vodka back in 2010. The site was born with Blogger, but I moved to a self-hosted WordPress blog as the site grew, and have been at add-vodka.com ever since. If you have been around for a while, you may remember how quickly this little site grew at the beginning.

After a period of rapid growth, I pulled away from the personal finance blogging community, unsure of the direction of the site and my online career in general. My posting frequency dropped substantially, and I engaged with readers less and less. My social media use slowed substantially as I disengaged myself.

I’ve been spending a lot of time over the past few months re-arranging my life so that I am living true to my values. Everything that I do, everyone I spend time with, every habit, and even my spending has been going through a test to determine whether they are impacting my life in a positive, negative, or neutral way.

Though I am far from finished, the outcome so far is simply that I’m making an effort to make life happen, instead of letting life happen to me.

All of this to say that my life has changed so much since I started blogging, and mostly for the better. Add Vodka passed the litmus test of life improvement, so it’s here to stay.

You may have noticed recently that I’ve been writing more frequently. The quality of the information has improved substantially. My posts are more thorough and thoughtful.

I’ve also been tweaking the way the site looks by putting myself in your shoes, and thinking about what I would want to see (or not see) when reading a blog. I’ve been trying to make it a better place to read great content.

This website is like my online home. I wouldn’t want my physical house to be cluttered, disjointed, or unfocused; I wouldn’t want my friends and family members to avoid visiting my home because it’s messy or an unpleasant place to be. I feel the same way about Add Vodka.

I’ve changed things up, simplified, and rid the blog of the bright colours and tacky icons. I’ve eliminated Adsense, and anything that might distract you or otherwise get under my reader’s skin. I’ve gone back and have begun to edit some of my previous posts for grammar and spelling issues. I’ve been reformatting older posts to fit in with the new design and to replace broken links and ugly images. I am sure you will find it much easier to navigate and read.

I’ve been spending more time on Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus, because I genuinely enjoy interacting with all of you, instead of just pushing out and promoting my own content. I’ve been seeking great articles around the web and have been trying to share this information with you, both on social media but mostly through my posts.

Everything I do on Add Vodka is going under the magnifying glass to become the best representation of myself and my work as possible. If there is anything that you want to see, don’t like, or just want to chat about, please send me an email.

Otherwise, I hope you subscribe to get posts and updates straight to your email inbox, and enjoy a far simpler, more streamlined and engaging site.


Chronic Scatterbrain – Signs, Symptoms, and Remedies

July 23, 2014 Permalink

I am finding it incredibly and increasingly difficult these days to organize my thoughts into enough coherent and jointed sentences to make up a post.

I don’t know if my lack of focus is a direct result of the amount of work wedding planning is, or because my mind is on my new job, but I do know that it’s seeping into all aspects of my life, and manifesting itself in my words, thoughts, movements, and even my decision making.

Case in point: I had dinner with Cait last, and I stopped to get some cheesecake. At the bakery, I was faced with a difficult decision: chocolate or strawberry cheesecake.

scatterI didn’t know whether Cait preferred chocolate or fruit flavoured cheesecake (and I definitely don’t discriminate), so my initial thought was that I would get one piece of strawberry and one piece of chocolate and have her choose.

Unfortunately, they only had single slices of the chocolate, and were out of single strawberry slices. This put me back to dilemma. Without even batting an eye, in response, I got an entire strawberry cheesecake.

I only realized how ridiculous that sequence of brain events was when we were digging into the cheesecake.

My brain is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but instead of staying on the adventure that I chose, it throws in paragraphs of the alternative adventure as well as bits and pieces of the screenplay for the Curious Case of Benjamin Button just to keep me on my toes.

Here’s the cherry on the (strawberry cheese)cake: to prove just how scatter-brained I really am, before starting this sentence you are currently reading, I got up to get myself a glass of water and open a window. I first poured myself the water, then I set it down to open the window. After opening the window, I’d forgotten where I had set the water and had to search all over for it, only to find it in another room that I don’t even remember entering. 

Shit is going down.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Well, I’m afraid that it has affected not only the posting frequency on this little old blog, but also the…


..just kidding. My scatterbrain has also had an effect on the type of posts I’ve been able to mash together. If you reach back into the Add Vodka archives from the last couple of months, you’ll notice mostly goal updates and disjointed posts about tire purchases and wanting to live abroad.

While those are things I may have written about previously on my blog, pre-scatterbrain, they would have made a lot more sense.

Or maybe I’ve always been a mess and I’m just figuring this out now.

Regardless, I’m hoping to find a focus and a bit more zen after the wedding is all over next week. I’m starting my new job the week after, so that will be a difficult transition, but this shit show CANNOT continue when I start. How would that be for a first impression?

After reading some articles on chronic scatterbrain, I’m led to believe that much of the issue roots from “multitasking”. There are a billion things going on in my brain right now, from wedding planning, to new job excitement, to seeing family and friends and remembering birthdays and anniversaries and other important dates, that my mind just can’t cope.

Instead of wandering away to text my maid of honour onelastthing half a paragraph through a post, finishing the post (or at least the framework) might be the best way to go.

Many of the articles I’ve read on the matter also recommend minimizing distractions, but unfortunately my brain itself is the distraction 90% of the time and I don’t think I could minimize that any farther.

Scatterbrain (or difficulty focusing as fancy people like to call it) is also highly attributed to stress, of which I have plenty. The stressors in my life are good, exciting stressors, but stressors nonetheless and signs of this are definitely prevalent in my body and apparently mind.

Sometimes, getting things out onto paper a computer screen helps me sort through some things and think clearer, so it would do me some good to start blogging more (especially if we’re talking real, actual, logical blog posts).

To those readers who aren’t completely sick of my shit yet: thank you for sticking around and I hope that I’m able to refocus myself as soon as humanly possible.

Why I Don’t Blog Anonymously

July 1, 2013 Permalink

Daisy’s note: I’ve posted before about why I DO blog anonymously, and have discussed it at length here on the blog, but when Manda from Break The Sky sent me this guest post about why she doesn’t blog anonymously, I thought it would be the perfect yin to my yang. Enjoy!

Ever wonder whether you should blog anonymously? Anonymity is a powerful thing. It can be especially so on the Internet, where everything lasts forever and anything can be found with enough searching.

When it comes to blogging, maintaining anonymity can be mighty appealing. Bloggers can get more personal with certain topics without feeling like they’re revealing too much about themselves, since there’s no name or face tied to the content. They can write about things that happen with friends and family more openly, even if names aren’t mentioned. A lot of the time, maintaining some level of anonymity with blogging can make the whole “sharing my life with the world” process less tricky.

Funnily enough, when I first started blogging I didn’t even consider blogging anonymously. I’m not sure I realized it was an option! However, I’ve only recently allowed my last name to be linked to my blog, but considering I link to my blog on my “name domain” (my full name .com) it’s not like my blog is hard to find for those who know me offline.

Just as I’m sure there are major perks to blogging anonymously, there are with blogging publicly, too. Here’s a few reasons why I don’t blog anonymously:

  • I like putting my name to my work.
    Call me a narcissist or a show-off, but there’s something satisfying about attaching my name to my work. Pen names and aliases have this benefit too, but there isn’t always the perk of sharing aforementioned work with everyone you know. I probably get such satisfaction out of it because a lot of the writing at my day job gets attributed to someone else or is copywriting, so it’s not like my name is at the top of the majority of material authored by me.
  • I can use my blog as marketable experience in my field (communications).
    My blog is professional in both tone and content, even if I’m rarely writing about professional topics. Because my coworkers know about my blog and social media activities, I can leverage my hobby into responsibilities I want to take on at work or develop into a future career. Recently, a client asked my company to help develop and launch a social media campaign for a new initiative. My supervisor tapped me to staff the account because she’s a fan of my blog and knows that I’ve already got the skills that the initiative needs for a successful launch. I didn’t even need to fight for the chance to work on the account!
  • It allows me to share my blog with friends and family.
    While this might be the definitive reason as to why some bloggers decide to blog anonymously, I really like being able to share my blog with friends and family. I grew up in several countries, went to a bunch of different schools, and have spent extensive time traveling abroad. My network is vast! Facebook, while great for keeping in touch at a distance, just doesn’t cut it, particularly when it comes to relatives.
  • It turns out people I know offline don’t really care about my blog, for the most part.
    When I started blogging, I didn’t exactly run out and tell everyone I had a blog, even though I never hid my name or face from the Internet. However, once the cat was fully out of the bag, it turns out that only a small sliver of my friends actually have the interest to keep up with my blog for more than a couple of posts. Most of the friends that are regular readers are bloggers themselves (you bet I’m reading their blogs, too). Those that don’t blog check in every now and then, but for the most part they don’t really care. (It helps that I don’t share anything personal about them.) Even my mom only keeps halfhearted tabs on my blog!

Manda is a PR girl by day and blogger by night. A world traveler, she’s always dreaming about her next travel destination, although her home city of Hong Kong will always hold a special place in her heart. Other things she’s passionate about include books, cupcakes, makeup and tea. She has a tendency to listen to her favorite songs on repeat and has been known to crave noodles at 2 a.m. She can be found on Twitter and Facebook

Starting a blog? You may also be interested to read some of my other posts about the subject:

Blogging 101

Should You Blog Anonymously?

Feel free to email me with any blogging questions and I’d be happy to help!