What I have learned about blogging.

Having been blogging for over a year now you learn a few things a long the way. Here is what I have learned, where I am, and my thoughts.

  1. If you want to blog about beauty even occasionally you are going to spend a lot of money. Beauty blogging is popular and informative. I really enjoy reading about new products and trying new things. When I see several people rave about the same product I am usually hooked and it goes on my wish list. My highest ratings on are beauty posts.  It is however going to cost you money because unless you are willing to put in the time and effort to take your blog to the next level companies are not going to be sending you free product. If you start beauty blogging to receive free product, it is probably not going to happen over night and it takes a lot of work. In the last year or so I have been contacted by a few companies wanting free post and advertising and thanks to fellow bloggers I turn them down because I don’t work for free. If beauty is your passion and you are buying product anyway go for it, but it is easy to get caught up in the deals and bonuses and always, always new products to try. Beauty blogging must be a dream come true for companies. I am sure it increases their sales significantly.
  2. If you want to increase your traffic photos are everything. People are visual and you hook them with good photos.  I purchased a new camera and have yet to really learn how to use it. I don’t have the skills or time to create the amazing photos I see on some blogs. I still hope to get there, someday.
  3. Blogs and writers come and go, some never to return. Many people blog as a creative outlet ( like me! ). They have big, busy lives outside of the computer and sometimes that life takes over and blogging gets put on the back burner. I wish I could write more because I started this blog to write about all the great things in my life, its purpose was to celebrate all things I love and enjoy and I want to document those things. I really enjoy writing about my adventures with my family and personal growth but of course real life takes over sometimes and what is wrong with that?!
  4. New blogs are popping up all the time and sometimes you lose contact with those you have started to communicate with as their real life took over and now the blogging world you once knew is completely different and feels like a room full of strangers. That can make you feel like you have to start forming relationships all over to keep your readership alive. Which brings me to the next 2 points.
  5. If you want a “number” successful blog, it takes time, dedication, consistency and hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight and life can’t take over. I think it is possible as many succeed.  I personally don’t have the drive to take my blog to the next level, at this time, I am not driven, it is not a personal goal. I am in awe of those bloggers that have created a business and career of blogging.
  6. Remember why you started blogging in the first place, go back to your roots. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone wanted to listen and read your posts all the time? Who doesn’t want to be heard? Who doesn’t want what they have to say be heard by others? We want to be listened to. We want to be liked. Humans want validation.We want our words and self to be valued. Personally, I have to remember this blog for me is creative expression and documentation of all things good.

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February Ramblings

January 2016 was a month of being in a total funk. Once I took down the Christmas decorations I took on the winter blues. I went to work, came home and went to bed and worked some more. Thankfully, that month is over and the sun it sitting a little higher in the sky and my spirits are starting to pick up. January is definitely the most depressing month of the year.

February has already been so much better! We purchased a new travel trailer for camping season. I am definitely in the full glamping category now. It is a mini cottage on wheels. We also have more social events planned with our friends. AND! Spring is not too far now. ( I am not thinking about the fact that I am off work today because we are going to get walloped by a blizzard, nope DENIAL)

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OH! and we are going to BAHAMAS in March. ( I hear the winds starting to blow outside.) How can you not  be excited by that?

I also won a $150.00 gift card from a RICKI’S RATE and REVIEW contest. Looking forward to new Spring clothing line and a little shopping spree!

So that is the exciting stuff, the not so exciting stuff….

I had to cancel my  monthly IPSY bag to make way for the payments on the new trailer. I really loved getting that bag of goodies every month. I may look at TOPBOX in the future as it is in Canadian dollars and a cheaper monthly cost and no US exchange to worry about.

My oldest son (almost 16) and his girlfriend broke up. I honestly, think it was for the best.   He needs to be enjoying his high school days and he was a hermit at home. No one likes to see their child hurting but it is part of the experience of eventually finding the perfect one.

Health wise physically and mentally, I am doing good. I had some routine blood work done and have my yearly mammogram coming up and my colonoscopy. Any medical appointment or test is anxiety provoking but I just keep pressing forward and believing in GOD that everything comes back clean,clear and demonstrating perfect health.

Today is hubs birthday and I made a crazy ass cake for the celebration. He likes these complicated multi layer cakes. Here is the pic.

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Here is me embracing my laugh lines. It is not easy when you start to see signs of aging on your face but at the same time I am grateful to be aging as many don’t ever get the chance. Embracing aging is challenging for me as some of my identity is in young and pretty. Can you be older and pretty?

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Winter Time Hand Treatment

Rough, dry hands? Winter have your hands and skin looking a few years older? Want some relief?

Here is a Wintertime favourite! 

L’occitane

 This lotion is silky, soft, smooth and has amazing scents. It also makes you hands feel silky, soft, smooth and restores them back to youthfulness. I can’t pick a favourite scent lavender or grapefruit so Good! 

    
   

Wish App

Have you stumbled on wish app on your instagram or twitter feed? Well, I came across it as a sponsored app and I decided to click that install button and then spent the next hour or more taking a look at all the products at low prices. Of course, when you think something is too good to be true you better do your research. So I researched the reviews on the company/site and watch a few videos on youtube. What I determined was most of the merchandise is from China and made quite cheap. Research tells me  Wish is a  glorified online dollar store. I also gathered that the clothing sizes were very small and you had to order 2-3 sizes up. As well you should only purchase products with consistent 5 star reviews.

I decided to take the plunge and order a few products

I received all products as promised. It took up to 4 weeks to get some items but they are very clear about that up front. Some customers complain of never receiving product but I did in fact receive everything I ordered. There were also complaints of not receiving the correct item ordered but once again I received everything as ordered. It is also important to read the find print on each item because what you see in the photo may not be all you get.

The first item I ordered was a pleather black jacket. It was 29CAD and free shipping. The jacket was small as expected but after I wore it once it seemed to loosed up around the shoulders.  I really like the jacket, it will get some good wear.

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I don’t tend to like wearing scarfs because I find them heavy and constricting. They are almost as bad as wearing a turtle neck. The reviews on this scarf talked about how light weight it was and I liked the colors. It was 3CAD and 2 S&H. On arrival, the colors were not as vibrant as the picture on wish, the material was thin which was good because it is comfortable to wear and bad because I can already tell it is not going to wear well. The fibres seem to move around in some spots and create small holes. I will wear this until it looks too shabby.

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The other  2 items I ordered were a pair of earrings and a makeup brush. I was very disappointed with these items but wasn’t really surprised I should have listened to the reviews on the items.

I am not sure I would order from this site again. They have some interesting, neat stuff but the quality is poor and you could be taking a risk by not receiving anything at all. For me, spending a few extra dollars for better quality, correct sizing and guaranteed arrival is better money spent. However, it is kind of addicting to scroll through all their items so there may come a time I just hit that buy button.

Anyone else have an experience with WISH?

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Make New Year Resolutions Volume 2

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I don’t make specific New Year resolutions because I know you can’t keep them just as I know diets don’t work. With every loss cell of collagen as you get older you actually do get wiser. Cost, benefit relationship.

As the kids get older the parenting gets less  intense, less hands on. They get more expensive, I wasn’t quite expecting that. They don’t need me like they use to. That brings about some sadness but at the same time I enjoy their independence. They need to be independent, honestly, before you know it they will be flying the coop. They need to know how to survive. I need to call off the helicopter and active the GSP. I will be broken hearted. Which is why I also must prepare and begin working on my life after kids. Saying that, I so wish I could freeze time. We are all at the perfect age. They need me but not too much, they are great to travel with, they can be left alone for periods of time, they are still young ducklings, not too grown up yet but able to make themselves a sandwich and not starve.

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So, why and I talking about my boys in this “I don’t make new year’s resolution post? ”

Because I want to freeze time. I have had an amazing year. I feel that despite the challenges I have, I have pushed through, maybe this year the pushes were less or the door wasn’t always as heavy. I just know that I am happy most of the time and I  am not afraid all of the time.

Aside from jetting off to live in some tropical destination to pursue my dreams of acting and singing. Splitting my time between living off the grid and in the penthouse in Las Vegas. Being happy most of the time and not afraid all the time is good enough. I will take it! Good enough is great. I did the hard work and the past year feels like a reward.

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Since I am not Elsa, from Frozen and I can not freeze time, only my fingers on the steering wheel. I know this year is coming to an end on the calendar. My boys will keep growing which makes me sad but I am excited about the adventures we will all have as a family.

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So once again for 2016 I declare…….

I declare I will be free from anxiety and fear.

I declare I will be an active mother to my children.

I declare I will raise Godly sons filled with love, kindness, gifts and talents.

I declare I will have a loving, vulnerable, fun marriage with my husband.

I declare I will have a happy, comfortable home that brings joy and peace to my family and friends.

I declare I will make a difference in the lives of children, leading them to their gifts and talents. Showing them that they can move above and beyond their circumstances.

I declare I will travel to new places and experience the world and activities that God has created for us to enjoy here on earth.

I declare longevity for my life.

I declare perfect divine health, free from all sickness, illness, infirmities, cancers for me and my family.

I declare I will have a true kindred spirit best friend.

I declare I will use my voice in song to bring others in the presence of God.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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New Year Clean Up

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With the new year just around the corner and the task of putting away and finding a home for all the new Christmas gifts I take this time to do a house clean up. I start with the boys rooms as they are usually the messiest and they have the most items that need to find new homes. I tend not to let clutter get ahead of me so I am generally purging at least 3-4 times per year.

Here is my list for a quick clean of the boys rooms.

  1. Strip beds and wash everything including duvets, mattress covers and pillows.
  2. Do a quick purge of their closets and drawers-if it looks to small, to dirty or well worn I bag it for charity.
  3. Open the windows no matter how cold it is,  fresh rooms need a fresh, crisp breeze. I close the doors to keep the cold from the rest of the house.
  4. I do a quick check of their toys and knickknacks. If they have out grown them or are broken I toss or donate. I dust all their shelves and display everything in a neat and orderly fashion. This also includes their books.
  5. I vacuum everything including heating vents and under beds.
  6.  I wipe everything down dressers, fans, desks, marks on walls. This year I think I have a few paint touch ups to do.
  7. Finally, I put the beds back together, sweep and mop and done. I am feeling great because I know that is done until Spring.

 

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Boxing Day Tradition

Every boxing day since the kids were small I have been making potato pancakes ( potato latkes) for a breakfast bunch. It has been a job in and of itself with hand grating the potatoes/onions and using the deep fryer. The last few years I have been using a food processor for the grating of potatoes and onions and this year I discovered a way to not have to drag out the deep fryer. Beside not having to use a deep fryer all the food was ready at once and we were able to all sit down together and eat at the same time. Winning! Who is not in favour of making things easier? {crickets}

Thank you to Once Upon a Chef! I was planning to take some pictures of my beautiful potato latkes but they didn’t last long enough for me to take a shot.

Here is the link for you!

Oven Fried Potato Latkes