How to go from Zero to Hero in the Blog World

Are you a new blogger like me?  Have you been posting away without any kind of increase in page views or subscribers?  I have been diligently studying what makes a blog successful and brings in the followers and money from advertising.  Here are some great tips and resources for getting your blog noticed.

  1.  Blog about things people want to read about.  Celebrity news, human interest pieces, funny stories, tips to make life easier……  People don’t want to read about the same thing over and over.  Mix it up a little with your content.  Just because you have a niche blog doesn’t mean you have to always write about that topic.  Throw them a curveball every now and then.  You will attract followers that have never heard of you.
  2. Use Social Media.  Every time you post on your blog, make sure you post links to your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.  Not only should you be sharing every time you post, but also make sure you are posting daily, whether it is a funny picture, a relevant topic for your blog, or share other website articles that your readers would be interested in.
  3. Join blogger groups.  There is power in numbers.  The more people you have sharing and posting links to your blog, the more your following grows.  The circle gets bigger and bigger every time you join a blog party or group.
  4.  Use Media in your posts.  There are tons of free photo website you can use to grab great pictures to include in your posts.  No one wants to read black and white blog posts.  Add color and headings and informational graphics.  Include links to help your reader find more information.
  5. Create lists.  Do you blog about fashion?  Create a list of the hot trends for the upcoming season with links to other websites or merchants to purchase those items.  Blog about baking?  Create a list of your most popular cupcake recipes with links and photos.  Everyone loves a good list.
  6. Do guest posts on other blogs.  Find a blogger that has lots of followers.   Contact them about doing a guest post on their blog with a link back to yours.  Make the content good and they will want to use it.  Every blogger wants good posts, and having one handed to you is icing on the cake.  You are using them to get followers, they are using you to get content. win-win!
  7. Host a Giveaway!  Everyone loves free stuff.  You have a free e-book about your topic?  Give it away for a week and post everywhere about the free item and how amazing it is.  Find a sponsor to give away a product that is relevant to your niche.  Post about it on all social media and share on their sponsor pages as well.
  8. Do a controversial post.  This isn’t for everyone.  If you don’t like heat, don’t start a fire.  But, if you have a topic that you are passionate about that you can backup with cold hard facts, go for it!  People love to argue and you will gain some new readers, however some may not come back if they disagree with you.  Keep that in mind.

I hope this helps you increase your blog traffic.  I hope to implement some of these items in this blog to gain more readers and I encourage you to keep blogging.  Persistence is key!


More resources for new bloggers:

Losing Fat Without Losing Your Mind

DIET — I hate this word so much.

I have to start this post off by telling you a little about my body history.  I was a toothpick growing up.  Long and lanky, flat-chested and awkward.  In college, I was thin — a size 6, and was completely clueless at how lucky I was!!!  I always heard, “You will wish for these days back after you’ve had kids and start aging.”  Fast forward several years…..I give birth to monster babies, my metabolism obviously slowed down, my hereditary high blood pressure kicks in, and the pounds just keep a-comin’.  I wish I could go back in time to those size 6 days and shop again.  I might not cry in the dressing room when it’s swimsuit time.  Okay, I don’t cry, but I really hate shopping for swimwear these days.  

So, I don’t want to get as big as a house, what do I do?  I’ve tried counting calories, using apps on my phone to track my meals and almost fainting when I realize what I ate for lunch yesterday was enough calories to last all day.  I’ve tried shake diets (which by the way, work). However, you are starving most of the time, and I felt like I was missing out on the joy of food.  I love food.  Period.  I really do, and I am not ashamed to say it.  I love a gooey cinnamon roll, a fluffy cupcake, some cheesy pasta, and BREAD!  Pretty much if it is a carb, I want it.

I’ve pinned meal planning tips to my Pinterest boards til I was blue in the face, but implementing that is soooooo hard.  Am I lazy?  Maybe.  That also explains why I’m not hitting the gym every day, too.  I know I need the exercise, I know I need to eat healthier, but it’s sooooooo hard.  I need help guys.  Help me figure out what works, what is doable for a gal like me that loves food and hates the gym.  I’m open, but don’t try to sell me some miracle pill or patch or shake system.  That’s not for me.

I know you came to this post thinking, “She’s gonna tell me how to do it.”  Wrong!  I don’t know how.  This was more of a cry for help I think.  Sorry for the let-down.  Now you know how I feel when I get on the scale or want to wear some jeans I could wear last year.  Seriously, HELP!!!!


Hobby Journal – Planning Your Hobbies on Paper

How many hobbies do you have? I am an arts and crafts type of gal. I love making things. Some may be useful, some may just be plain fun to make. Do you pin things to boards everyday in hopes that one day you will make it? ME TOO! I feel like I need to de-clutter my Pinterest boards sometimes. So, with that in mind, not only do we need to de-clutter our physical hobby spaces, but also our mental ones or digital ones.
Enter new idea: (or new to me)
Has anyone started a hobby journal? Did you even know there was such a thing? I really hadn’t ever thought about it, but I love the idea of having a journal and would love to take up that habit. I am not a habitual person in that I have hard time doing things everyday automatically. In fact, my habit is not making habits. ha!  I get frustrated with myself because I have several blank journals lying around that had good intentions, but never really stuck with it.   But with a hobby journal, it’s not really something I have to do everyday, just maybe every now and then when I run across something fantastic that I don’t want to forget.

So, this hobby journal may just help with whittling down my many ideas tucked away here and there, and I could actually see them in one place. Doesn’t that sound marvelous?! You can print out pictures of things, jot down ideas, or keep lists of items you need to buy. I tend to overwhelm myself when I start outlining my upcoming weekends, and then by the time it’s here, I am not really doing much of anything because I lacked planning. I enjoy my hobbies.. that’s why we have them right? They bring you joy. Sitting at home on Sunday night wishing I had done this or that does not bring me joy.

First step of creating a hobby journal:  Don’t make it a hobby.  I laughed when I typed that because that’s exactly what I’d normally do.  I’d get excited to go to the craft store and get cute pens and stickers, and wham!  Another hobby.  NOOOOOO!  I will not do that.  This is supposed to help with all that.  Resist the urge for glitter pens, and just grab a notebook or one of those blank journals you never used.  Start by making a list of your hobbies.  Next, make a page of each one.  Now, when you find a picture of a great necklace you want to make for yourself, print a picture of it and jot down the website on your “Jewelry” page.  Or, if you happen across a quote that would be cute for a shirt that you could make with vinyl, jot down the quote on your “Cricut” page.

Second step of using a hobby journal:  Don’t write down everything you see!!  This is another hard one for me because I like so many things and think I’ll make that one day.  Truthfully, I never will.  So, limit yourself when it comes time to put something in the journal.  Only include things you truly will want to look at one day.  Don’t put so many ideas in there that you overwhelm yourself and throw the book in the trash.  Maybe only choose things that you want to make within the next month or two.  If it’s months before Christmas, don’t put in homemade ornament ideas because you know you aren’t going to want to make those for a while.

So, I think that is enough to get us started.  I would love to hear if you use a hobby journal and have some great tips for me.  Please comment here or send me an email.




Super Cute Valentine Boxes for School

Do you make Valentine’s for your kids?  Do they take boxes to collect them at school?

My son is in first grade and they have a Valentine party in his class.  I’m sure you all have made a Valentine box at some point.  This will be my 5th or 6th box to make, as I’ve helped my daughter in elementary school as well.  It is always so fun to pick what type box they want to take with them to school for all their classmates to put Valentines in.  My son is very much opposite my daughter, and he said “Surprise me, Mom.”  My daughter, of course, had to have her say in what her theme would be, and we would have to make or buy matching Valentines for her to pass out.   I like the laid back attitude my son has.  He just goes with the flow, and I get to be as creative as I want.  So, I decided it was time to find some ideas for this box.  Here are some super cute ones I’ve found.  Maybe they will help your kids choose what they want, or they will help you decide what you want to make for them.

  1.  Pete the Cat   I love these books and this Pete box is terrific!  Check it out on

    Valentine Box – Pete the Cat
  2. Batmobile   We love superheroes and Batman at our house.  This box is sure to be a hit  with little boys!
    Minecraft Creeper


    3.  Minecraft Creeper   My son loves Minecraft so much that he watches his favorite Youtubers play the game almost daily.  They love to play hide and seek in Minecraft worlds.  This creeper box is a high contender for his Valentine’s Box.    Check it out over at raysofbliss!

    4.  Pokemon themed  Okay, I admit it.  I am a Pokemon fan along with my kids.  The amount of money we have spend on cards is insane.  This is probably my top choice.

    Pokemon Valentine Box




So these are my top picks for this year.  Stay tuned for a picture of the one we choose to make!  xoxo


UPDATE!!  Here’s the box I made!


Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfast

I have discovered a great way to have a delicious, healthy breakfast without spending a ton of time preparing it!  BREAKFAST PARFAITS!   When I say the word, I immediately remember Donkey saying, “You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Heck no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious.”  Well, Donkey had it right because they are delicious!

The best part about this breakfast idea is that you can make so many different flavors by just switching out the ingredients.  It’s not rocket science.  And…you can make them up ahead of time so they are ready to pull out from the refrigerator and eat on your way to car line or work, or wherever your morning takes you.  All you need is 3 simple ingredients:  Fruit, yogurt, granola.  That’s it!  Put them together in jars or you could even use throw away cups.  Assemble by layering fruit, yogurt, then add granola right before you eat it so it stays crunchy.  Oh, another good tip is to add a touch of honey on top of your fruit to sweeten it up a bit.  The combinations are endless and you can get creative with it.  Have a different flavor for every day of the week!

Here’s some ideas to get you started—–

STRAWBERRY PARFAITS –sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen), vanilla greek yogurt (my favorite is Dannon Light and Fit Greek), granola (I tend to get vanilla flavored ones like Simply Balanced brand – found at Target)

BLUEBERRY PINEAPPLE PARFAIT —  blueberries,  pineapple flavored yogurt, blueberry granola (Quaker or KIND brand)

RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE — raspberries, raspberry chocolate yogurt, Back To Nature Chocolate Delight granola (find this at Wal-mart)

Why I started Blogging

Have you ever wondered just how much Bloggers make and why they do it?  After years of reading blogs and seeing all these awesome resources floating around, I finally decided it was time to really see if all the time they spend is truly worth it.  Well, let me cut to the chase…it is!  There are everyday people out there just like you and me making thousands of dollars A MONTH just blogging!  I can’t imagine making my yearly salary in one month by just sharing ideas with you guys.  Mind = blown.   Seriously, it really happens.  Advertisers pay big bucks to people who influence thousands a day.  You can get affiliate sales, sell a product, coach others for a small fee, and so much more.  A lot of bloggers share their income reports to show you that it really is possible, and that just happens to land you on their page, which also helps their numbers.  It’s all good for you because you find real help from real people, and it’s all good for them because your page click just made them money.  Wins all around!

Here are some wonderful bloggers I have found that share their monthly income reports from their blogs.  I love seeing where the revenue came from (what works) and just how much they actually pocketed.  My goals in blogging are pretty low compared to what I see here.  I will be ecstatic to make anything really.  I am not a professional writer and I certainly am no website designer, but I think there is value to blogging.  Whether it is making some extra cash or just knowing I am helping others.  I’d love to hear about your bloggy adventures and what works for you!

Check out these awesome blogs!

Melyssa Griffin is an extraordinary blogger that shares tips for blogging and lots of other topics.  Check out her whopping income for Nov ’16!

The Busy Budgeter can help you create a budget that will save you money.  She has more money to budget based on her blog report!

Abby Lawson at Justagirlandherblog breaks it all down by expenses, email subscribers, and blog traffic.  She has so much useful information when you are starting a blog.

Pinch of Yum  shows you how a food blog can bring in lots of income.

Making Sense of Cents has doubled her blog income twice in the last two years based on her chart.  WOW!

Quick and Healthy – Air Fryer’s are AWESOME

I finally got an air fryer after wanting one for a very long time, and let me tell you, I should’ve made that purchase much, much sooner! We use our air fryer several times a week, almost daily. I wasn’t really much into cooking fried foods before, so we just baked everything. My daughter hated fries in the oven. She said they weren’t crispy enough. Now I can cook her fries in less than 15 minutes and they are crispy, but not greasy.

I have 5 kids to cook for every other weekend when my stepsons visit, and it is so handy to be able to cook a big batch of fries, cheese sticks, and whatever other snacks they want without having to make a big mess or get out a messy fry-daddy. In fact, I have a Presto fryer that I had forgotten all about until I just typed that. I can get rid of it now.

Here’s the one I ordered off of Amazon.

I got the smaller version, but I think if you cook for several people, the larger one would be handy to have.  I didn’t even realize how popular these had gotten and I saw that Paula Deen has even written a cookbook solely for the air fryer!   I have to add that to my wish list.    You can snag it here!

Do you have an air fryer?  Tell me what you use it for.  I’m looking for new ideas.  I really wanna try some homemade donuts!  Or beignets!!!!

Cutting cable — UPDATE!

We cut our cable several months ago, and I am so glad we decided to give it a try.  My bill used to be around $175 a month!!  Now, our bills for streaming are around $38 a month, plus I got Amazon Prime.  I got it for several reasons though, and the streaming video was just one reason.  We subscibe to Netflix, Hulu, and Slingtv.  I was worried that the kids would miss having cable most, but they haven’t even cared.  They actually don’t even watch television much anymore and stick to movies or video games for entertainment.

Are you thinking of cutting out cable?  I encourage you to give it a try.  The only downside is that we have to wait a day later to watch some of our shows, but since we rarely watch something at its scheduled time, it didn’t really matter to us.  It is basically like having the dvr box with cable.  Plus, we have watched so many series that we had never heard of.  The best part is being able to watch entire seasons at once, and not having to wait a week for the next episode.

Wondering what to do?  Go buy a roku from any electronics department.  Hook it up and subscribe to Netflix and Hulu.  Those are must haves.  You can also get other channels free on the Roku, too.  My kids love the Pokemontv so they can watch cartoons.  One month of your cable bill should pay for the Roku, so what have you got to lose?  A cable bill!!  Unless you are a couch potato tv junkie, I promise you will love it!

Here’s more info on Roku!

You can get netflix by going to   Plans start at $7.99/mo.  I pay $11.99 for the 4 screen package which includes: Watch on 4 screens at a time. HD and Ultra HD available. Download videos on 4 phones or tablets.

Hulu offers lots of television series and starts at $7.99 a month.  There are also some exclusive series that you can’t find anywhere else!  They also have a free trial!

SlingTV  offers live television, so you can watch lots of your favorite channels just as you would with regular cable.  There is also some on demand content in case you miss the live viewing.  This is how we get our “Walking Dead” fix.  I also enjoy watching several History Channel shows and the kids enjoy Cartoon Network.  There are a couple of packages to get that start at $20.  You can also sign up for some premium channels like HBO.

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UPDATE—-  It has now been well over a year since we ditched cable.  I am still soooo happy with streaming television.  There have been some improvements since I posted as well.  I have upgraded one of my tvs to the Amazon Fire Stick and love that it connects with my Amazon Echo Dot.  Check that combo out if you haven’t heard of it.  I love being able to ask Alexa all sorts of things like the weather, latest news, or even a joke.  The kids enjoy it, too.  Also, we have switched from Sling TV to DirecTV Now, which is just in the last week or so.  I haven’t decided if I like it better or not, but Sling made me really made when I missed half of the season premiere of The Walking Dead, so they got booted.  Don’t mess with my Negan time, SlingTV!

Also, there is some really good information over at The Simple Dollar that was shared with me recently, so I’m going to just leave this link right here.  Good luck with cutting out cable and saving your money!!!

The 2018 Cord-Cutting Guide



Crochet – My newest hobby

My grandmother has crocheted since before I was even born, and she would give us sweaters, little animals, blankets, you name it while I was growing up. I never fully appreciated the amount of time she put into those items until now. I have been teaching myself to crochet this last month. How, you ask? YouTube! Yep, it is the best class you can find. You can pause and replay over and over until you get it, and you don’t have to bug someone else to show you something a hundred times.

I am finishing up my first blanket, and I’m pretty impressed with how well I’ve done. I chose to do a simple stitch over and over for the blanket, and so it is not too hard for a beginner. Bernat blanket yarn is what I used and it is so soft and comes in lots of colors. I think I’ve used about 7 or 8 balls of yarn, and that’s about $60 or so. A little expensive, but I wanted to like my first project a lot, so I got the yarn I really wanted. Had I gone with a cheaper one, it would’ve been half the cost. My next project is blankets for my kids. They want to pick out their own yarn, so it should be a fun project.


Here are some great resources if you want to learn about crochet, too! I’d love to see your projects and patterns!

Bella Coco – great youtube tutorials




Why you need an Instant Pot


There’s this wonderful kitchen appliance called an Instant Pot, and you really should check it out. I got one several months ago, and while I don’t use it every single day, we do use it weekly. I have made soups to cheesecakes in it. There is a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you are cooking faster than before.

This is the one I bought!

Are you a meal planner? Do you freezer cook? Buy the Instant Pot! You can cook whole chickens that shred up great for other recipes or prepare dishes and freeze to throw in the Instant Pot later. There is a wealth of recipes on Pinterest and Facebook. I’m going to just leave this here…..

Yep, that is a peanut butter cup cheesecake I made in the Instant Pot.  It was delicious!  Here’s the recipe I used!

Make sure you follow my Pinterest board for this recipe and other great recipes and ideas for the Instant Pot!