How to make a gallery image page on Blogger

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I jumped into blogging quite blindly.

I didn't prepare or read anything about blogging. I know...I know, what was I thinking?

I didn't know how much technical things you need to know to run a blog efficiently.

I didn't realize the hours that go on behind the scenes to making your blog look nice and easy for your readers to get around.

One baby step at a time, I learned how to make it look like how I  had envisioned in my mind.

I focused on sharing my heart and staying true to my vision.

I messed up a lot and still do. There is still so many things that I would like to tweak and change about my blog. But I want to keep my priorities in order, so I do what I can when I can. In other words, instead of it taking me months to get my blog how I want it, it has taken me years. Don't worry it doesn't have to be the same for you. I just have different priorities.

Everything on my blog I have figured out how to do myself or through tutorials. It has been a lot of trial and error, but I am pretty proud of what I have been able to accomplish for not being a computer nerd.

 I would much rather spend my time on writing encouraging posts, sharing diy's and recipes and posting lots of pretty pictures, but there is just so much more to blogging then doing the fun stuff.

 I know that making my blog aesthetically pleasing will pay in the long run, and all the things that seemed hard at first will be a piece of cake once I master them.

One thing that I have wanted to do for a long time is to make my posts easily accessible. The way I wanted to do that was to have a gallery on each of my pages. That way you could go to the page of your choice see the pictures of the post, click on them and be transferred to that post.

Not only is this a great way to showcase older posts but it's like a library for your blog. Having it all in pictures makes it more alluring to click on the picture and find the topic you want to read about. I am very visual so I if I see a pretty picture I know I will be more drawn to click on it.

I searched high and low for a tutorial or template to be able to do this easily. Unfortunately I didn't find much that was helpful. I am sure there is some plug in somewhere to make this easier but I could not find one for blogger. I know that many serious bloggers have moved on to wordpress, which seems to have many more plugins and benefits, but I am just not there yet. I might one day when I get up enough gumption;)

The only tutorial I found that helped me a great deal was this tutorial from Laura's Crafty Life. It will give you the html code that you can easily add to your page. But I still was missing a lot of pieces to the puzzle to make all the photos the same size and how to add them. Remember, to someone who knows nothing about html or coding this was all foreign to me. I needed step by step directions on how to do everything.

If you have been looking to make your pages into a beautiful gallery and know nothing of how to make this happen, this post is for you.

1. Upload your photos to photobucket
To upload your pictures onto your page you first need to upload them to a source that you can get a link image for them. Photobucket is a free resource where you can store, edit and transfer your photos easily. All you have to do is register for your free account.

2.Crop your pictures into a square. 
Once you upload your photos to photobucket you then need to crop them. Simply click on your photo and a edit image will pop up then go to the crop button. Different sizes will come up. You want to click on the square button. Your picture will turn into a square shape. You might need to center it a little bit. When you are done save your photo.

3. Copy the image link 
Now go to your library/bucket and click on the picture you want and then to the right of the picture you will see some links with the title "Share this Photo" above them. You want to click on the direct link. It will immediately copy your photo link. Make sure you only do this when you are ready to paste it into your page.

4. Add html code to your page
Remember that tutorial from Laura's crafty life I mentioned? Now is when you want to go their and copy it. If you want your pictures 4 across copy the whole thing. If you want them 3 across copy it up to the third line where is says"Name you want to be displayed" and then it will have this right after it </a></td> 
Go to your page on blogger. Open it up in html and add in the code.

5. Add in the Url of your post and image
In the coding where it says-  
Add in the url of the post you want to add. Make sure you delete the portion between the parenthesis. Leave the parenthesis and paste in your url. Now do the same where it says-http://yourimageurl.jpg
with the link from photobucket. You have the choice to add in a title of your post. I opted out as it messed up the clean look I was going for, and most of my pictures had the title already on them. If you want to add in the title simply replace example with your title. If not erase it.

6. Adjust image size
If you want your pictures 3 across then you will want to change the 25% to 33%. Then change the page setting to Compose. All your pictures will be huge. Click on them and change them by clicking the small button. They will all look uniform now. Continue to add in the html code and go back through all the steps as you need to add in new posts to your gallery.

It took me a while to finally feel comfortable doing all this. Hopefully this took all the guess work out for you, if you are not tech savvy like me. I love when I am given instructions step by step, assuming that I know nothing of this world of numbers and letters called coding; which I pretty much don't.

All of this can be quite time consuming so I try to add in my photos and pictures a few at a time as I publish them. Once you get the hang of it it will be easier and easier.

I hope this was helpful to you and gave you the tools you need if you have been also dreaming of beautiful gallery page for all your posts!

Let me know if you have any questions or if anything needs to be made clearer!

There are still so many things I want to change about my blog to make it better but for now I'll keep taking one step at a time to get it to where I want it to be. Even though the process can at times be frustrating, it's so rewarding to look back and see how far you have come!

Linking up here!

Field trip to the Florida Aquarium

Saturday, September 17, 2016

I think I love field trips as much as the kids! At least once a week we try to get out whether it's to the beach, park, zoo or museum. It is not only a great learning experience but much needed break from our busy school week. I feel like we get so much more done when we have an outing to look forward to!

All year long my kids ask me when we are going to go to the Aquarium. With a large family like ours it can get really pricey to take everyone to the Aquarium or other places. Our preferred amount to pay is usually free. That means that we have to wait for certain times of the year when they are special deals.

Every year we usually invest in our local Zoo pass for the family which is pretty affordable. With it we get access to the Aquarium and other museums in September. As soon as September came you can be sure that we high tailed it over to the Aquarium. We have been to the Aquarium numerous times but it never ceases to thrill the kids. Anything to do with ocean life and animals is a sure winner in the Harris household.

My kids are not only obsessed with fish and wildlife but are pretty much experts on the subject. They know way more than I do and most other people do for that matter. I am certain that at least one of them will have a career involving something to do with fish or animals.

One of the greatest perks of homeschooling is that we get to go places on the off days. We went to the Aquarium the day after labor day and nobody was there. We had the whole place to ourselves! It also didn't hurt that our AC had to be worked on that day and we needed to get out of the house.

We left early stopping for doughnuts and to pick up Grandma of course. We packed peanut butter and jelly and I had the kids dress in their bathing suits to play in the water park there.

I loved seeing the kids Oooo and Ahhhh over all the beautiful sea life. I was so proud when we attended a little snake presentation and they knew most the answers to the questions. I love seeing their curiosity about a fish they haven't heard of and  also recognizing  and naming so many of the sea and land animals. I love that they are always learning and so inquisitive all on their own.

As you can see we had a great time and I am sure will be back before the month is over! When we got home the boys decided to draw an ocean web food chain all on their own. I have to say I was pretty amazed at how accurate and thorough they were! And of course Israel was very inspired by the sharks and sea turtle!

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we can really delve into areas of study that my kids are interested in. Not only are they learning from books but they are learning as they explore and investigate wherever we are.

We are so blessed to live in an area that accommodates so much of the interests of my children, particularly animals and sea life. :)

If you live in the area have you been to the Florida Aquarium?

What's your favorite thing about homeschooling?

Where do your children love to go on a field trip?

Linking up here!

My favorite homeschool blogs and resources

Thursday, September 15, 2016

If it wasn't for the support I have gotten through homeschool friends, family, and the online community, I really don't know how far I would have made it in homeschooling.

The saying, Better together; really is true.

Though I was homeschooled myself, I started homeschooling without really knowing what I was doing,(does anyone?) just knowing that this was the path the Lord was leading our family on.

Through a lot of trial and error, tears and frustrations; I am finally finding my niche and becoming confident in my own skin. (Though there are still many hair pulling days) It really takes a lot to get to that place where you are able to glean advice and knowledge from others and yet not compare yourself either.

I have been so thankful for all the great resources, books and blogs that have encouraged me and inspired me in this journey. I know I would not be loving homeschooling as much if I hadn't connected with other like minded mamas.

Here are some of my favorite resources, blogs and books that have been so instrumental in keeping me afloat in homeschooling. I hope they will be a great source of encouragement and help to you as well!

Blogs and Resources

Investing Love

I was so happy when I found Alicia's blog. She has so many great posts and tutorials to help you navigate homeschooling. She is very organized yet real about the struggles of homeschooling. And I love her style of homeschooling.

My Joy Filled Life

This is your one stop place for everything. Sarah has gathered a great group of contributors( one of which is myself;) that write about everything! Recipes, motherhood, family, marriage, reviews, printables, and of course homeschooling.

Generation Cedar

Kelly is a mother of ten whose desire is to train up a generation that glorifies God. I love her encouraging and real posts on faith, family and homeschooling.

iHomeschool Network

A great resource of encouragement, ideas, reviews and information about the homeschool world. I am also apart of the ihomeschool Network so of course it's great;)

Simple Nourishing Home

Durenda is a homeschool mother of 8 who has been there and done that. So much practical truths and encouragement from someone who knows. She also wrote a great book that is a must read for every homeschooler!

Deliberate Homeschooling

Jennifer has done her homework and shares so many great how to's on lesson planning, crafts, unit studies and more! She offers great encouragement and lot's of knowledgeable experience.

The Busy Mom

Such  wealth of encouragement and knowledge about motherhood and homeschool from wonderful seasoned mothers and homeschoolers!

Mockabee Seven

Jodi doesn't blog a lot but when she does it's always very helpful and real. She has 5 kids and takes the most amazing pictures of her family and home. One of my favorite instagram accounts to follow!

Cloistered Away

A sweet blog about family, motherhood and life.

The Quick Journey

Another great lifestyle and homeschool blog by a mother of four.

Weller Momma Blog

Great encouraging posts, ideas and inspiration.

Kinderfarm Homeschool

A beautiful blog about faith, life and homeschooling.

Homeschool Online Communities and Podcasts

Wild and Free

Wild and Free is a community of homeschoolers that not only want their children to recieve a great education but to have a great childhood, which I am also passionate about. I have been so inspired as I have joined this community. It makes such a difference knowing there are others mothers out there passionate about the same things you are. I have gained so much great encouragement and wonderful ideas!

At Home

A blog and podcasts to encourage mothers in faith, motherhood and homeschooling.

Charlotte Mason Living

Everyone has their prefered style of homeschooling. I kind of pick and choose what works for us and our beliefs and convictions. One style that has really hit a cord with me is the Charlotte Mason style. Charlotte Mason was a British educator at the turn of the twentieth century who believed that,    

                                         "Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life."

Though I don't follow her method to the T I have taken and applied much of her teachings to our homeschool and it has made a vast difference.( Especially with my boys) I love that she focuses on forming good habits and character, getting kids outside and learning from the world around them, art and music appreciation, living books, narration, dictation and copywork.

The Charlotte mason living community is a great resource into this simple yet profound way of teaching and learning.

Learning Well Community

Alicia(from Investing Love) also started this blog with some other homeschool moms in hopes of bringing inspiration and resources to the homeschool community. It has some great courses to get you excited and feeling prepared to homeschool.

Social Media- Instagram

Not only have blogs been a great resource for me but social media platforms as well where many mothers and homeschoolers share their life, successes, failures and ideas.  I love pictures so of course instagram is my favorite form of social media. I have found so much inspiration from the homeschool community from this little app on my phone. Here are some of my favorite homeschool moms to follow:

Jodi Mockabee- I mentioned her earlier:)

School of Life Learners

This Crazy Homeschool Life

Farmhouse Schoolhouse 


Kristen Rogers




There are so many great blogs and resources out there that it can be overwhelming trying to navigate them all. I hope these few blogs and resources will help get you started if you have not known where to start. Of course there are many others that I love but just wanted to highlight a few here.

I love that most of these blogs are not only about homeschooling but are Christ centered, because he is the greatest resource of all!!

I love writing about homeschooling because it is of course a big part of our lives. It helps me to have this little place here to share my struggles and journey and keeps me motivated to stick at it. I hope you find some encouragement and inspiration here for your homeschool journey if you have felt lacking, and most of all know that you are not alone!

What are some of your favorite blogs and resources for homeschooling???

Linking up here!

Holimaths X Game Review

Saturday, September 10, 2016

This is a sponsored post for Holimaths X Game a product of Holiplay games. All thoughts and opinions are uniquely and soley my own. I was provided with the Holimaths X game in exchange for my honest review.

I don't know how it is in your household but when it comes to math there are often tears involved here. It's gotten better over the years but it can still be frustrating for my kids trying to figure out math when they just don't always get it.

My kids love playing any kind of games. In fact they can get a little competitive. Any chance I get I love incorporating learning and games. I think one of the best ways to learn is to have fun while doing it, so when I heard about Holimaths multiplication game I knew we needed to give it a try. Usually I drill my boys(9 and 11) with speed multiplication drills or races, but honestly they have still been struggling to remember them all.

I have to admit that I don't like trying to figure out new games and all the time it takes to remember all the rules and strategies but thankfully it didn't take us too long to figure out how to play. The instructions were easy to follow and there are also helpful youtube videos to reference.

" Holimaths X is a family multiplication family game strategy card game- 10 ways to play it- 1-6 players-7 and up- innovative card game aimed to meaningful/ significant learning  that develops logical thinking."

My favorite part of the game is that there are so many ways to play it and it can be played with all ages and and skill levels. When I asked my boys after we played the first time if they wanted to play again, I was thrilled to hear an emphatic, "Yes!!" And the next day they asked if they could play it again! Win! Win!

One of the great aspects of the game is that not only are they learning the answers to the problems but what all the questions as well. There are 10 ways to play the game but through conclusive research and test sessions it was found that it is best to play the games in this order:

1. #2 Stairs Game Play
2. #3. Expert Game Play
3. #1. Original Game Play

Unfortunately I have never liked math and I don't want to instill a hatred for math in my kids just because I have never been fond of it. The creator of holimaths came up with a way that gives you the tools you need to not only teach your kids math but to learn alongside of them.

We were given a first edition game that is in Spanish but it didn't matter because the game is not dependant on language. There will be a future 2nd edition coming out that will have many improvements and cards and instructions in English and Spanish.

Holimaths X comes with a money back guarantee on any missing cards! I love that it doesn't come with a lot of game pieces that take up space and are easy to get lost. It simply comes with Problem cards and solution cards and help cards to find solutions for those that might not know the answer right away and takes away any pressure to perform. It also comes with 2 drawstring bags to draw cards out of and store them in. The cards are brightly colored and each times table has it's own color so they are easy to distinguish. 

I am so excited that we now have Holimaths X in our arsenal, that I know will give both my children and myself and new found love for math and give my children the confidence they need to succeed in math!

Please visit Holiplay Games to get your own Holimaths X and be on your way to learning math with your children and having fun while you are doing it!

5 Creative ways to incorporate art into your homeschool

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

When it comes to teaching our children we don’t often think of art as a priority, but rather something to fit in if we can. The benefits of including art in your children’s education are endless and there are so many creative ways to incorporate art into your homeschool if you look! 
Since my children were young they have shown not only a great interest in art but great talent as well. Because of their talents and interest in anything to do with drawing, painting and crafting, I have tried my best to create an environment that is conducive to creating great art.
  “Whatever the natural gifts of the child, it is only so far as the habit of attention is cultivated in him that he is able to make use of them.” Charlotte Mason
Homeschooling has been so great for us because there is more time to delve into art and incorporate it in many of our subjects. I have found that the best way to really get them interested in what we are learning is to add some form of art to it. It’s amazing the difference it makes and I believe when they document and draw what we are learning about, it really imprints it in their minds.
Here are some ways that we have found to incorporate art into our homeschool and you can too! 
Please go to My Joy FIlled Life to read the rest of the post!!!!

Make sure to go to my instagram account where I am joining some other homeschool bloggers in a $800 giveaway to bless a homeschool family!!! Be sure to enter to win!!

Linking up here!
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