Saturday 19 January 2013

Grow your blog challenge 2013

On reading Africanaussie blog she had an interesting post about a "Grow your blog" party, started by Vicky at 2 Bags full blog.
This is a campaign to get more people to read a wider variety of blogs, variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes...
We could all do with a few more friends, bloggers or readers, a few more followers, a few more commentators...So I joined in, hoping to earn a few more readers and hoping to find some new blogs to follow.

For my new readers I will start by introducing myself:
Hi, my name is Sami, I live in Perth, Australia.
I was born in Mozambique, then moved to South Africa when I was 14 years old. Shortly after I got married I accompanied my husband to Germany, where he was going to work on a project.
From the originally planned 1 year we stayed almost 6, and both our children were born there. We moved back to South Africa for a short while, then another move to Portugal, and then 6 years ago, yet again another move to Australia!
I hope we are done with moving for many many years!!

I work part-time as a Practice Manager in a Medical clinic with 3 doctors and 5 other receptionists, and I love my job, although it can be quite intense and stressful at times!

Perth city, seen from Kings Park Botanic gardens

I started my blog in June 2011, as a way to record my travels, crafts, recipes...and also to link with other likewise bloggers.

Although I blog in English, I am also thinking of starting to write all my posts in duplicate with a Portuguese version as well, at the suggestion of some of my Portuguese followers... I just need more hours in the day if that is possible!!

Slowly I realized I had to follow other bloggers and through some of my first followers I started clicking on some of the blogs they followed, and from there I started following a few more blogs that were to my liking.

I have noticed most of the blogs I follow are actually related to either travel or expat bloggers.
So this will be an opportunity to make an effort and visit different types of blogs.
You can learn so much too by visiting other blogs, you see how they structure their blog, how they "beautify" it. You also learn about how other people live in other parts of the world, you learn little tips about gardening, sewing, cooking...

I have been gluten intolerant for about 2 years and I'm always on the lookout for new recipes that don't take too long to cook. I enjoy cooking as long as it's nothing too complicated or takes hours...

I am on a quest to be more aware of the environment, use less chemicals on my body and also save money, and now make my own washing liquid for the washing machine, and use vinegar, baking soda and lemon for cleaning around the house, as well as making my own lovely soap
Try these recipes, they are easy, don't take long and you will feel so proud of yourself .

I enjoy crafts although I must say I am a bit of a procrastinator and haven't done much in way of crafting or painting for a while. Maybe I should follow a couple of crafting blogs so I get inspired and start painting again.

One of my paintings

I love decorating and renovations - we have renovated almost our whole house and garden by ourselves (me, hubby and son). I love to watch lifestyle shows, renovating shows, etc., which drives my husband crazy!!  
60 Minute makeovers?? No wonder I then get cranky when the bathroom renovation takes 3 months!! I have threatened to call in some of these "quick renovators" or to enroll in some of these shows, but my husband would not hear of it!!

I started an A-Z challenge a few months ago with other bloggers around the world and I am almost at the end of it, having started with an A is for for Australia and the last post in the series was T is for The Three Sisters.
You can read all my posts under the A-Z by clicking under the Australian flag button at the right.
If you would like to find other bloggers doing this challenge follow this link.

Oh, and I have 5 cats, only 2 of them are friendly and love to keep me company, the others are bit wild and scared of visitors. But I still love them to bits.

My husband and I and our 5 cats - Mommy, Baby, Twiggy, Fluffy (the orange male) and Shelley

At the moment I have 36 followers, some lovely virtual and not so virtual friends spread around the world, but it would be nice to increase my regular readers.

I have actually met a few of my followers and/or bloggers that I follow, such as the lovely Carole from Piglet in Portugal, who was one of my first followers outside my family and who helped boost my readership too.
Then there is Monica who also lives in Perth and blogs in Portuguese about her Perth experiences, Celeste, is a self published author, who also writes in Portuguese, posting poetry, articles about herbs and their benefits to your health, and she is an enthusiastic writer with over 500 posts in about 2 years.

One thing I find, is that although I have many people that read my posts every day, very few people apart from the regular 5 or 6 commentators leave comments. I don't know if the procedure is difficult or if people just can't be bothered. 
I miss that people comment and I always try to leave a comment if I visit a new blog, there is always a post that is interesting, has nice photos, is funny....
So make an effort and leave some kindness.

So hop along to 2Bagsfull . With over 420 bloggers having registered you will for sure find one or two to your liking.
I know I have already found a couple that I will start to follow from now on.
And of course I hope you "follow me" too and enjoy reading my blog.


  1. Sami,
    even though I knew you painted I didnt know you were so talented - that lion is amazing! I also didnt know you were fluent in Portuguese - so glad you decided to do this blogfest as well.

  2. Hi

    Found you via Africanaussie. What part of SA did you live in?

  3. Wow that is really fascinating. I just assumed you were Portuguese born!

    And your painting! Wow! You are very very talented!

  4. I enjoyed this 'getting to know you' post Sami. I lived in Central Africa (Zimbabwe and Zambia) for many years also, from four years old until I married at 21. Love your painting,and we are also about to embark on more renovations, and enjoy the very same shows you mentioned.

  5. Hi, Sami, As you know I already follow your blog and look forward to your posts. I had the idea of writing my posts in English and Portuguese but it is very time-consuming. I ended up starting a PT blog where I now post a few translations and some original posts that I think will appeal more to PT readers.
    I love your lion painting. You really should do more painting if you can find the time, but you do so many different and interesting things already!

  6. Hi Gill, yes by birth I am Portuguese, as Mozambique was then a Portuguese colony.
    Thanks for following me Garden Girl - I lived in Johannesburg for about 15 years and after returning from Germany I lived in George, which was just an amazing place.
    Hi Sharon, as I said to Gill, Mozambique was a Portuguese colony and my parents went from Portugal to Mozambique when they were young.
    Thanks for complimenting on my painting.
    Grace - I am hooked on all reno shows, they are nice to get ideas, but give you a flawed idea of the length of time it all takes to renovate. We are halfway through our en-suite total renovation.
    Mara - yes, I know it is consuming, just getting one post out a week, plus photos, etc, takes ages.
    I have thought of maybe another blog in Portuguese, but will probably settle by posting less often. Thanks for the comment on my painting. My house is full of my art!

  7. Great travel history!

    I too have a fair number of Portuguese speaking readers (mostly from Brazil), but as my best foreign language is Mandarin Chinese, I don't suppose I would be able to communicate too well with them.=)

  8. Hi Sami, aww thanks for the mention :) I think it is difficult for people to make comments on Blogger blogs because you have to go through hoops to leave a comment. You have to get pass the bounder on the door demanding you put in a code. Sometimes I've written a comment on your blog and it's disappeared.

    I've notices some bloggers on "blogger" blogs do not offer enough options for"Choose an Identity" which is extremely frustrating and if you don't have a google account you can't leave a comment. I'm surpised the quality of your blog you do not have more followers. Good luck with the blog hop.

  9. Fantastica vista de Perth e linda colecção de suculentas.

  10. I look forward to following your blog!
    What is your favorite gluten free meal?

  11. You can still post in English, just add a translate button to your blog.

    See ya round the A-Z Challenge!

    Popped in from from the Grow Your Blog hop.

    Give me a visit some time ~

  12. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for visiting, I'm sure with your knack for languages you would be able to master some Portuguese...I'm sure Mandarin is a lot more complicated!!
    Thanks Carole - I know, unless you have a google account there aren't that many options to comment, but I do get your comments once in a while, so I'm sure they were just waiting to be approved. I get a lot of spam, but I think I don't have the number and letters hoop any longer?? or do I?
    Thanks JM, from Kings Park you can get almost 380 degree views of the city.
    Thanks Beulah for visiting and becoming a follower, I still love Lasagna which I make with gluten free pasta.
    Thanks Tami for visiting, I have a translate button, but "google translate" is just not the same, the words are there sometimes in strange order, you can get the gist but it's good for a laugh sometimes.

  13. Hi again Carole - I have just noticed that when someone comments they can choose a google account or an OPEN ID, where WORDPRESS is an option too.

  14. What a wonderful way of sharing your life experience.

  15. Your life sound very different from mine.
    If you visit I will visit you
    I also paint and do different crafts

  16. Lovely blog Sami only managed a quick look but I will be returning as I would love to visit Perth. Thank you for visiting my blog and I will do some posts and photos about Malta so do visit me again

  17. Hi Sami, love this post so nice to get to know you a little more. Loved your recent post on Adelaide, I think you have seen most of the 'best of' Adelaide. We live just outside the Adelaide hills. You'll have to visit the hills next time you visit there are some very pretty spots :)

  18. I enjoyed my visit here on your blog. Be encouraged for such a time as this. The Lord does have a plan and it is falling into place. I will stop back to visit!

  19. You have a lovely blog. I'm new follower and 'Grow Your Blog' participant. Have fun in at the party!
    Evalina, This and that...

  20. Thanks for visiting JotaVe.
    Thanks from coming from the Blog hop
    - Vivien, Evalina, Laura and Robin.

    Aimee (mamie girl) - usually I don't have transport when I am in Adelaide, reason why I stick to the city and nearby suburbs. I will try and go to the hill on a weekend when my husband is available. Thanks.

  21. Thank you for visiting The Pink Geranium, I too am part of Grow your Blog! I am your newest follower.

    Did you know that you can add a translation button, so anyone can change your post to their language? I have one on mine. Much easier then reposting all over again!

    Jan at The Pink Geranium!

  22. visiting via Vicki's grow your blog party and enjoying the visit. Vicki is an amazing woman and has blessed my life greatly; this is another example of her generous and giving personality.

  23. Hello, Sami -- first, thanks for stopping by the Marmelade Gypsy -- I've not been well and am just catching up on return visits and commenting!

    I didn't participate in the blog day, but I think that's a great idea and I am so glad you found mine as well! I have always been fascinated by Australia -- in fact, our museum director came from Perth and whenever there is a function, he usually buys Australian wine and beer for it! We share a number of interests, not the least of which is that beautiful creature called the cat. Yours are just gorgeous; I love their markings! I hope to visit again! Thanks so much for stopping at mine! (I have lots of travel posts, too on my blog labels -- maybe one day Australia will be among them!) ~jeanie

  24. I'm visiting from the blog party and it's so nice to meet you! I love travel and am looking forward to following your adventures!


  25. Hi Sami
    I'm visiting here thanks to Vicki's GYB party and noticed that you live on the other side of my country so thought I must say "hello" as I live on the far south coast and I am into mixed media using vintage laces, doilies and linen as well as crazy patchwork so thought you may like to take a look.
    I love your wall paper and boy those 5 happy cats!
    You might like to enter yourself in my Giveaway too.
    All the very best with your blog!

  26. Thanks for visiting Suzy, I'm off to visit your blog too.

  27. I quite liked your blog to be hoenst and the idea of learning new things from different poeple is really interesting. I wouldn't even image how our lives would be with the internet there's simply so many things to learn!

    Have a lovely day

  28. I've been blogging for many years and I think people used to comment more several years ago compared to now. I think it might have something to with reading blogs on phones which make it harder to comment, I dunno. But I know how you feel. Anyway, it's nice to meet you and happy Australia Day!


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