Starbucks Makes Me a More Productive Person (New Plugin & Theme!)

Don't let life drown you. Find time for yourself to stay sane!

Does anyone else worship Starbucks when they need to stay sane?

I’ve been making frequent trips to Starbucks in the mornings and I swear these trips help make the rest of my day so much more productive!

Taking a small break from life at Starbucks.

A photo posted by Ashley Evans (@nosegraze) on

It's so easy to love life when you're at Starbucks with a good book.

A photo posted by Ashley Evans (@nosegraze) on

I take a little time to myself in the mornings. I plop down with a latte and a good book before I dive into my work for the day.

Until We Meet Again is fabulous, by the way!

Download my archives widget

I get sooo many people asking me where I get my archives widget. As some of you may know, it’s something I coded myself.

Well the questions kept coming and coming, and I figured I’d give back. πŸ˜‰ You can now download my archives widget from the repository: Expanding Archives.

Expanding Archives comes with very minimal styling. It’s literally only a few lines of CSS. You can still use it and it will function perfectly, but it’s also somewhat intended to be customized by designers to make it match their themes. πŸ™‚ I just personally hate it when I download a plugin and it comes with a ton of bulky styling that doesn’t match my theme and I want to get rid of it, so I aim to keep my plugins as simple and lightweight as possible.

The archive widget on Nose Graze

The widget on my blog.

The Expanding Archives widget on the Twenty Fifteen theme

Expanding Archives widget on the Twenty Fifteen theme.

A screenshot of the Expanding Archives widget settings

The widget settings (there are none!).

Download Expanding Archives

New WordPress Theme: Amanda

Amanda - A feminine pink theme for WordPress

Amanda is a theme I’ve been working on for a while. It actually almost became the Nose Graze design. I love the way it looks, but in the end it just didn’t feel like it was for me, you know?

But just because Amanda wasn’t the theme for me doesn’t mean everyone else would feel the same way! So I decided to release it as a pre-made theme, and now it’s finally ready for sale. πŸ™‚ Plus it’s gorgeously integrated with the Expanding Archives widget, as you can see on the demo site.

It’s so hard to keep up…

Seriously, guys, the struggle is real.

You may have noticed that my blog has fallen by the wayside a bit. I’m still posting, but a lot less.

Well, I just have a lot on my plate right now and it’s SO HARD to find the time to do everything. Something’s gotta give, and sadly, that’s been blogging.

  • I’ve been working real hard to launch version 3 of the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin.
  • I’ve been answering A LOT of support tickets for UBBv3. (Psst, here are some tips on how to write the perfect support ticket.)
  • I’ve been re-coding all the UBB add-ons to work with v3.
  • I’ve been planning new pre-made themes with Anna Moore.
  • I’ve been doing all my usual client work (custom coding/dev).
  • I’ve been working hard on opening up a merchant account so I can process credit cards and such myself, instead of using PayPal.
  • I finally re-coded my documentation site to use my Nose Graze theme.
  • I started re-coding my client site to match my Nose Graze theme… but this is still a work in progress.

It’s just crazy how many things there are to do. And every time I finish something, a new project or to-do item gets added to the list. I’m trying really hard to prioritize everything to ensure that I get it all done in a good order.

Tell me what you’ve been up to lately!

What do you do when you have a hard time keeping up with your tasks and hobbies?

Photo of Ashley
I'm a 30-something California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). My three great passions are: books, coding, and fitness. more »

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    1. I’m so glad you love it Vi! It looks fantastic on your blog. πŸ™‚

      I took a little bit of a break yesterday to go see Jurassic World with my hubby and some friends. LOOOVED IT!!

  1. UBB VERSION 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I CANT WAIT!! When are you going to release it?
    Thanks for sharing this archives plugin even when you’re so busy. Really appreciate it. πŸ˜€

    1. I’m glad you’re excited Eva! It’s available to use in its beta format already. πŸ™‚ If you purchased an earlier version of UBB you should have received an email about upgrading.

  2. I received info on how to beta-test UBBv3, which I did, but was it supposed to “stick” to my blog? I didn’t get an email about an upgrade. Has it been released, or just selectively? I’m so confused. LOL!

    1. No, the demo is literally just a demo. It doesn’t get transferred to your site.

      You didn’t get an email about the upgrade because you didn’t actually purchase the plugin—you get it free with your hosting. I will be upgrading everyone on my hosting automatically in the next few weeks. πŸ™‚ I’m just waiting until all the add-ons have been recoded and are compatible with the new version.

  3. Procrastinate. Which is not a good answer, but it happens quite often. (Netflix is an evil enabler.) But once I get past that, I usually write up a list of things that need doing on a Post-it and devote a Saturday to going through the list. Or make myself do at least one list thing each day when I get home from work before I can chill out.

    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (4 stars)
  4. I’m so excited that Ubbv3 is soon ready. My mom co-blogs with me and it’s hard to explain when I make too many changes in a short period. So I didn’t want to get v2 and then get v3. It would be too much. Lately I’m just trying to get her to paste our review layout in the text editor instead of the visual. πŸ™‚ I’m using another plugin that uses Google books to pull the book info, but a lot of books we read are only on Amazon or Goodreads, so I think it will be much easier when we get the UBBv3. Plus I don’t have much options to create review archives.

    Thanks for the expanding archives plugin too. I was looking for something similar a while back but just didn’t like what was being offered.

    Kayla @ The Review Court recently posted: Book Trial: Serena DNF
    1. On the bright side, the book info part of v3 (on the Edit Post page) is mostly the same. πŸ™‚ So it shouldn’t be too much of adjustment.

      The biggest visual/technical change is the settings panel.

  5. Starbucks single handedly helped me finish my current book’s early drafts so I could start editing. I’d go at 6 or 7 am and leave around 11 or noon. I got so much done.

    But now I hate Starbucks and can’t stand the smell of it. I am 7 months pregnant though, so that could have some part in it πŸ™‚

    1. Wow! Huge props to Starbucks!

      But what a bummer that you can’t stand the smell of it now. Hopefully that will pass after the pregnancy. πŸ™‚

  6. THANK YOU so much for the Expanding Archives widget. I’ve been waiting for something like this to come along ever since upgrading to Tweak Me V2 which didn’t support the Collapsing Archives widget.

    Now I just need to figure out some coding to change the colour of the boxes to match the colour scheme of my blog and shift everything left a bit, if I can. Wish me luck!

  7. I know what you mean about trying to keep your head up during a struggle! It is defintely too much sometimes. I love your starbucks thing..haha sometimes I forget how nice it is to get up early or preserve a chunk of time and go to starbucks with a book and my laptop and just β€œgit β€˜er done” πŸ™‚ Feels so good afterwards too! You have definitely inspired me to do that before the week is out!
    I’m looking forward to your new stuff on the design sphere. I am having a new template designed right now and have been planning to move to wordpress this summer all year! So now that is coming closer I am definitely going to be visiting the bookmarks I made over the past year or so regarding all your plugins and tutorials. Super exciting! πŸ™‚

    Diamond @ Dee’s Reads recently posted: Book Review: Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

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