Why I Started a Blog

Why I Started a Blog

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

I don’t often post about blogging and other business, but today I am going to stray from my usual topics. I wanted to take a few minutes to let you know WHY I started a blog in the first place.

Even before my husband and I got married, we talked about our shared desire to have me stay at home when we had children. This was very important to us and from the start, we made many of our financial decisions based on this. We saved much of our income when we were first married and had two full-time incomes coming in.

We now live primarily on one income. It’s not always easy and we have to make sacrifices often.

While I have been home for the last 5 years, I have been blessed with a few side projects (many with my previous employer) over the years. With each temporary job, we put the income in savings. The savings has helped with medical bills, car and home repairs, and other things outside our day-to-day living expenses. We have also been able to build up our children’s education fund, as our main goal is to pay for a Christian education for them. (A majority of our financial decisions are made with this sole goal in mind – their Christian education.)

Why I Started a Blog

I started my blog two years ago for two main reasons.

  • I wanted to create an early morning habit and the blog held me accountable to waking up early.
  • I wanted to find a way to contribute financially to our family, to build our savings, and to grow our daughters’ education fund. I was only looking to do something flexible that would allow me to “work” completely on my own schedule. Blogging is not typically a fast way to make money, but I knew that there was potential in it if I was willing to put in the time and effort.

Here is the thing: I would NEVER have thought of myself as an entrepreneur. I never thought of myself as creative. I never considered owning a business or making income on the side.

Shortly after I started blogging, I realized that I enjoy this! I was excited with the potential that working online has. There is SO much to learn, but I love researching and learning. I quickly found that my favorite parts of blogging include the design, the back-end of the site, strategy, connecting with other bloggers, and learning. The actual writing part is further down the list!

  • Have you ever considered starting a blog?
  • Do you currently have a blog?
  • Do you have dreams to work from home?
  • Do you want to take your current blog to the next level?
  • Do you desire to make money on the side while staying at home?
  • Do you have a small side business, but want to know how to take it up a notch by adding a blog to help your business?

If this is you, I want to share a few free resources with you. The resources are from Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less and Elite Blog Academy.

Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers
Blog Structure Blueprint
7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight

Sign up to be notified with Elite Blog Academy is open for enrollment. It’s just once per year!

 

If you want to see what the process of setting up a blog is like: check out my step-by-step guide here. I have used Bluehost for my blog for almost 2 years now and have been 100% happy with them! Just a few days ago, I renewed for another two years.

How to start a blog. Includes domain name availability checker and brainstorming printable.

You can also check out my list of Blogging Tools & Resources to see what I currently use on my blog.

Top Blogging Tools and Resources. Many are free blogging resources!

Sign up for my Blogging Tips & Resources Newsletter.

blogging-tips-and-resources-newsletter

If you have considered starting a blog, I invite you to start one today. Make sure you share your blog name with me so I can check it out!

Why I Started a Blog

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List 

Free Christmas Gift List Printable

Christmas Gift List Printable

Do you find it hard to keep track of who you are buying for around the holidays? Even with a smallish list of people to buy for, I always find that I need to write out a list to help me stay organized. I have a quick brainstorming session to help me think of ideas so I don’t have to scramble as Christmas Day approaches.

If you are a list-maker like I am, you may find this Christmas Gift List Printable helpful. List out who you are buying for, jot down a few ideas, and then check off once the present is purchased and wrapped.

Free Christmas Gift List Printable

Free Christmas Gift List Printable

Print the Free PDF here: Christmas Gift List Printable. I hope the printable helps you stay organized. It’s never good to find out that you accidentally purchased too many gifts for someone, but forgot another person or two!
 
The Gift List printable is part of my 12-page Christmas Planner.
 
Get organized this Christmas! Christmas Planner. Holiday Planner.

The full Christmas Planner includes the following pages:

  • Cover Page
  • Gift List
  • Christmas Card List
  • Party Planner
  • Menu Planner
  • Recipe List
  • Traditions & Memories Tracker
  • Christmas Budget
  • To-Do List
  • Notes Page
  • November Calendar Page
  • December Calendar Page

christmas-planner-2016-3

How do you keep track of your Christmas gift purchases? 

Free Christmas Gift List Printable

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

Sign up for my Blogging Tips & Resources Newsletter! You will receive links to helpful blog posts, tips and encouragement, affiliate ideas, blogging resources, and more!

Blogging Tips and Resources

November Mini Goal: Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.
This post is part of my 12 Mini Goals Challenge.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer. In 2016, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. In January, I focused on Daily Movement or Exercise. In February, I focused on cutting down on evening snacking. In March, my goal was 30 days of pilates. In April, my goal was to clear my kitchen counters every night. In May, I attempted to clear out my closet 3 items at a time. In June, my goal was to reset my mornings and wake up earlier. In July, my goal was to drink more water. In August, I wanted to track our daily reading. In September, I got control of our morning and evening schedules.

I often hear about people who have a gratitude journal or write down a list of what they are thankful for each evening. It’s important to always be thankful, but I have never taken the time to write down a list. I believe that we are to have a thankful heart and that we need to focus on the many blessings given by our Savior.

 My November Mini Goal: Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments. Record the Moments in my Mom’s One Line a Day book each day

While I was originally going to try keeping a gratitude journal in November, I decided to do a variation of it. I have the Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book and don’t write in it as consistently as I would like. The book includes one page for every day of the year and on each page it has room for 5 different years. I use the book to write in some of my daughters’ milestones but also like to write down things they say or do. I use it to write down memories and enjoy looking back at it. It’s helpful to write things down as I know I would otherwise forget much of what they say and do!


I am so grateful for my girls and so I’m going to try and write in the book consistently in November. Because I will be in the fog of life with a newborn, it will help me to step back and look for the joyous moments in my days.

Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Your November Mini Goal: Pick one of the ideas below!



If you want to read more about Gratitude Journals read: The Benefits of a Gratitude Journal and How to Maintain One

Here are a few more thankfulness activities:

Let me know if you decide to join!

I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups

Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter

I am excited to start a Blogging Tips & Resources Newsletter.

Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter

I am not a blogging expert, but I have been able to grow my blog in the almost 2 years since I started. My blog has grown in both page views and income. One of the main reasons I think it’s grown is because I have done my research. I don’t follow all the blogging rules as my time is limited (I have 2 children at home with me everyday!), but I pick and choose the rules I feel are important to me. I have learned the importance of focusing on my individual blog goals.

In the online world, I often hear that you don’t need to feel like an expert to teach. You just have to remember that you are always a few steps ahead of someone. If I am a few steps ahead of where you are now (and where I was months ago), I would love to share what I have learned and encourage you along in your blogging journey!

Who is this for?

  • You have considered starting a blog but haven’t started one yet.
  • You are in your first couple years of blogging, and you feel overwhelmed and need direction.
  • You want to learn about some of the great blogging resources out there. I will keep you in the loop!
  • You have dreams to work from home or just make money on the side.
  • You enjoy the behind-the-scenes of the blogging life.

What will I be sending?

This newsletter is NOT a step-by-step guide to starting a blog (you can find that here). I will be e-mailing you with:

  • links to helpful blog posts
  • tips and encouragement
  • affiliate ideas
  • blogging resources
  • and more!

There are SO many blogging courses, books, websites, and posts. It can be overwhelming to hear all that you need to do to grow your blog. So often it seems that bloggers think they need to follow every single piece of advice out there and they get immediately overwhelmed. One thing that I quickly learned is that you need to focus on what works for you. It’s key to research and learn what is applicable to your blog and your business, and ignore the rest. Or write it down to be a priority in the future.

I LOVE to research all things blogging…almost to a fault. I want to share what I have learned with you in my Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter.



Start with checking out my list of favorite blogging tools and resources!

Sign up for my Blogging Tips and Resources Newsletter. I will be sharing: links to helpful blog posts, tips and encouragement, affiliate ideas, blogging resources and more!

This post contains affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

Best Children’s Books for Fall

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.

Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. — Emilie Buchwald

It’s fall! This is the perfect time to enjoy a fall book or two with your children. Curl up under a blanket inside or bring it outside to soak up the sun and enjoy the crisp weather before it turns into winter. Read about the leaves, apples, pumpkins, thanksgiving, and more.

Best Children's Books for Fall

I am sharing just a few fall books we enjoy. Go to Amazon to add the books to your collection or head to your library to check these out. Here are some of the best children’s books for fall:  

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse
This book will get your children ready to carve pumpkins! My girls loved to pick their favorite pumpkin expressions.

God Bless Our Fall
A sweet reminder of the many blessings of fall.

Pumpkin Pumpkin

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Bear Says Thanks
Karma Wilson’s bear books are favorites in my home.  

Bear Has a Story to Tell
For the end of the fall season…

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
by Louisa May Alcott

The Berenstain Bears’ Harvest Festival

Fall
And a touch and feel book for the little ones.

What are your favorite children’s books for fall?

Pin this post for later! I have a few more fall books on hold at the library, so I may be adding more books to this list soon.

Best Children's Books for Fall

Are you looking for books specifically for babies? Head over to read my 10 Favorite Books for Babies. All 10 books have been read again and again in my home. They are our true favorites!

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List