I am very humbled to have received from Me, You & Zu the 2013 Blog of the Year Award.  WOW!  I don’t know what I did to deserve this awesome award, but thank you so much Ruby for the nomination!  I truly appreciate it! Make sure you head on over to visit Me, You & Zu and tell them Nikita & Bella sent you!

I started Nikitaland back in 2010 when we rescued Nikita and gave her a “forever home”. I wanted to document her life, and ours too, from the beginning and all the silly things that she did as a puppy.  For those of you who don’t know, Nikita came from a litter of seven puppies and after they were born, their Mommy was poisoned with anti-freeze and died. The puppies were in dire need of help and the APL rescued them, all of them and took them in and gave them the immediate care they needed. Without the APL’s assistance, these pups would have not had a chance.

Nikitaland has turned into so much more, as we now have two rescued dogs, and life without a dog does not exist in our house.  Rather, life has been filled with so much love from these two dogs it is amazing! I could not imagine life now without a dog. They are my best friend and companions throughout the day, they make me smile, they keep me safe, they amuse me every day, but the love that I get back from them is unmeasureable, not to mention, priceless.

Getting back to the Blog of the Year Award, I did some checking through my stats to see what posts actually made me popular this year, and I have listed a few of them below:

A Pizza Pan is Just Not for Pizza Anymore (6,507 views)
Pizza Pan Patriotic Platter
How to Make Paper Mache Pumpkins & More
Fourth of July Crafts
DIY Halloween Prop: Cemetery Columns & Sign
How to Make a Night Light Cover from Melting Beads
What’s for Dessert?  Apple Cinnamon Chimichangas
Anatomy of a Sock Bunny
How to Make a Sun Catcher

I am so blessed by all the views at Nikitaland, love all the comments I receive, but the best part of blogging to me are the people who I have become close with!  They make blogging so much fun! I always can’t wait to wake up and check my in-box to see what they are up to!

My stats have grown since I started blogging in 2010, and here is a quick snippet of my views since then:

  • 2010 – 1,958 views
  • 2011 – 8,553 views
  • 2012 – 19,594 views
  • 2013 – 55,893 views to date

And, as of today, I just clicked over 86,000 views for Nikitaland!  That is truly amazing to me to see these numbers! Thank you to everyone who has helped grow my stats!

And now for my nominations for Blog of the Year Award! I would like to nominate the following blogs for their outstanding content, creative writing style, humor, craftiness, animal welfare awareness, and photography.  The nominations go to:

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

You all deserve this Blog of the Year Award, so display your award proudly!

The instructions for this award are simple:

1 – Select the blog(s) you think deserve the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

2 – Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen- there are no minimum or maximum number of blogs required- and ‘present’ the blog(s) with their award.

3 – Let the blog(s) that you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the instructions with them- (please don’t alter the instructions or the badges!)

4 – Come over and say hello to the originator of the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award via this link:

5 – You can now also join the Blog Of The Year Award Facebook Page. Click the link here:

Share your blog posts with an even wider audience.

6 – And as a winner of the award, please add a link back to the blog that presented you with this award and then proudly display the award on your blog and start collecting stars!

Congratulations to everyone and thank you all for making me smile!

Let’s Get Animated

BLOGGING TIPSContinuing on with scouring the “information highway” or web for interesting things that you can do to spice up your blog, I went on a searching safari for how to animate your photo’s, or How to Create an Animated GIF.

It’s a real jungle out there and you could get lost in all the websites that provide tutorial assistance, but I found a website that was self-explanatory and easy to use.


The website is called Picasion and you can create an animated GIF in just a few minutes, or faster than you can finish a cup of coffee.

First, take a sip of coffee, and head on over to Picasion.  The first thing that you need to do is to upload your photographs.  As you can see, it shows that you can upload three photographs, but you can upload more than that.  Select your images from your computer.  Choose the size of your GIF.  (for the sample that I created, I used the “normal” setting)  Then, choose the speed.  (once again, I chose the “normal” setting)  Click “Create Animation”.  As you can see from below, I created a simple Animated GIF from four photographs of Bella and it turned out great!  This definitely adds a little spice to the blog!  I can see a lot of great uses for this already, for example, I can illustrate how our little seedlings are growing by grouping a few photographs together as the Animated GIF flips through the photographs!

gif gif animators

In just a minute you will see your very first Animated GIF, congratulations on a job well done!  But wait….. you still need to get it on your blog post.  Don’t fret, as that part is easy too.  If you are looking at your finished animated GIF right now on Picasion, then you will see that there is a lot of “HTML Code” listed right below your GIF, highlight and copy the code for HTML Code for Blog/Website.

Now, just head on over to your WordPress Dashboard, and create a new post.  When you are to the point in your blog post that you would like to add your Animated GIF, click on the “Text” tab and paste the code you just copied, then click back to the visual tab.  You will now be able to see your Animated GIF live in action on your blog post!  And if you want to check it out before hitting the publish button, click Preview first, and if it’s ok, click Publish.

NOTE:  While testing this process, I found that your animated GIF looked better if your photographs were in succession.

If you create your own Animated GIF from this tutorial, let us know!  Good luck and have fun and keep checking back for more blogging tips!

If you missed Blog Tip #1: How To Add Tickers To Your Blog

How Do You Get The Word Out About Your Blog?

You have created a blog, now what?  You need to capture an audience.  You need traffic.  But all of this does not happen overnight, as it takes time and a lot of perseverance to gain loyal readers and followers.  Setting up a blog is a lot of fun as you have many options to choose from, like hundreds of blog themes, interchangeable widgets and a plethora of add-ins to make your blog experience the best ever!

One way to get the word out about your blog, is word of mouth and lots of business cards!  Don’t have a blog card?  We can help you create one!  Everywhere we go, we pass out Nikitaland blog cards and have grown our visitors very quickly.  For example, while we are shopping at PetSmart with Nikita, everyone always wants to pet her (as she has the softest fur ever) and of course, we hand them a blog card so they can keep up with what we are doing, and what Nikita is up to!  Another way we pass out her cards, is by placing a blog card in every eBay package we ship – yet another great way to connect with pet lovers around the world.  (this is how we met our friend Karen and her wonderful family)

Here are a few samples of the blog cards that we have made over the years:

Another way to get the word out about your blog is to create a blog button.  Don’t have a blog button?  We can help you create one!  These blog buttons can be shared with other bloggers to add to their blog and it will gain you more traffic and visitors.  What a great way to increase your traffic, eh?

This is what the blog button will look like

If you would like to ADD our blog button to your blog, here are the steps to do it.  First, go to your Dashboard, then to Appearance, then to Widgets.  Next, under Widgets, click on Text.   Name the text box Nikitaland, and paste the code below into the text box, then click save.  You have now successfully added our blog button to your blog!  (leave us a note that you have added our button to your blog)  Here is the code for our blog:  <a href=””><img src=”; /></a>

Be creative about how you get the word out about your blog, but do something!  The more you talk about your blog, the better your traffic will be, not to mention all the great people you will meet along the way.  We always have room for more friends!  So, if you need help in creating a blog card, or a blog button, let us know and we’ll help you.  All in all, just don’t start a blog and think that the traffic or followers will come, you need to first write intriguing posts to capture attention, then get to work getting the word out that you’ve got a blog worth following by handing out your business cards and sharing your blog button with other fellow bloggers.  It is all worth it!

Share Our Link & Save A Life of an Animal

We need to get the word out and we need YOUR help!  If you are reading this and YOU have a blog, we are asking you to post our 2012 Pledge For Pets button on YOUR blog!  If you don’t have a blog, please forward our donation link for the APL to everyone you know, as by helping us collect donations for the APL, YOU will help save an animals life!

We are asking everyone to get involved as this is such an important fundraiser for the APL as they take care of on average 17,000+ animals in a years time which helps for operations, shots, emergency care, food and shelter.  Your donation and your assistance in forwarding our link to everyone you know will help us collect the much needed funds to help those who cannot speak for themselves – the abused and neglected animals. 

On your blog’s dashboard, go to Appearance, then to Widgets, select Text.  A box opens and you can give your button a title, then you just drop the button’s text into the bottom area of this pop-up box.  Click Save.  That’s all there is to do!  Easy, right? 

If you want to help us out and add a button to your blog today, here is the “text” you will need to do so.  Just copy & paste the information below into the body of your text box, and name your button:  2012 Pledge For Pets   (You can see what the text box looks like on our blog)

<a href=””><img src=”” /></a>

We appreciate ALL the help we can get, and if you do upload our button, let us know by replying to this post!  We can’t thank you enough for your help!  After May 6th you can remove the button from your blog, as this is the last day for online donations.  (How to remove this button:  Just do the same thing you did to create it, by going to your WordPress Dashboard, then to Appearance, Widgets, and you will see the button on your sidebar, just click on it, and click delete)

If you need any assistance with your button, let us know! 

Even if you can’t donate at this time, we understand, but upload the button to your blog and email the donation link to all you know!    Donation Link:

When Blogging Goes to the Dogs…

Just when you thought you heard it all, blogging takes a new leap….and goes to the dogs!   It’s a dog eat dog world, well, not actually, but us four-legged friends now have our own blog sites, like me!  Nikitaland was started when I was adopted in September of 2010 and was meant to share photos of me growing up & doing silly things for friends and family, but it has taken on new heights and has grown leaps and bounds since its inception.  As of today, Nikitaland has reached 5,000 visitors in less than eight months with an average of 26+ views/day (some days has more than that too – as last Thanksgiving, I had over 186 views in just one day).  In 2010 overall, I had 1,958 visitors and so far in 2011, there have been 3,045 visitors!  WOW, that is amazing!  I am so glad that I can share my life as a puppy with you, and will promise to bring you all the exciting stories of my life.   Thank you for keeping up with me, staying in touch, and watching me grow up! 

Hugs & Smoochies from one happy puppy,