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 

Monthly Goals – October

Monthly Goals - October

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.

My Monthly Goals…Why do I set them? Why do I share them here?

  • Setting goals helps me remain focused.
  • Sharing my goals helps to hold me accountable.
  • I hope that it may inspire you to set goals for yourself.

Are you new to goal setting? Here are a few posts that may help or inspire you:

Monthly Goals - October

Sleep

September: We were not used to getting out of the house early, but now that my daughter is in kindergarten many of our mornings have changed. My goal in September was to get to bed early so the earlier mornings were not too rough. Sleep wasn’t great in September as the baby in my tummy isn’t allowing for much of it…

October: I don’t have much control of my sleep at 36+ weeks pregnant and when the baby comes I definitely will NOT have control of my sleep! So my goal for October is to keep my daughters well-rested. I would like them in bed at or before 8:00 every night. I am contemplating moving this earlier.

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

Your Morning Manual: A Guide & Workbook for Resetting and Maximizing Your Mornings

Exercise

September: Cardio 3-4 times per week. Try to walk outside at least once per week. DONE. It’s hardly a vigorous workout these days, but I feel so much better when I exercise while pregnant!

October: Cardio 3 times per week. Try to walk at least once per week. Do you need tips on getting exercise into your daily life?

Weekly “date” night with hubby

September: One movie, game or date night per week. I believe we did this most weeks?

October: One movie, game or date night per week. This is getting a bit harder as we prep for baby, work on projects around the house, and various other things. But we will try…

Monthly outing with our family

September: Plan one fun activity for the four of us. We had a fun evening going out for dinner and playing at a new park!

October: Plan one fun activity for the four of us. Maybe? Because baby is due in October, it’s hard to know what this month looks like. I am all about flexibility in October.

Habit from my 12 Mini Goal Challenge

September: Abiding by the school schedule is a big change for us. I knew that I would need to manage my schedule much differently as I am not used to getting my girls out the door early in the morning. I am missing out on much of my morning alone/blogging time and I have needed to be much more strict about bedtimes and morning routines. In September I focused on planning my morning and evening schedules out to help get a handle on our new school routine.

September went really well! Our transition to school has been smoother than I expected! Once a newborn is in the mix, it may be another story!

October: I have always had quite a sweet tooth and know that I consume way more sugar than I should. While I believe that splurges are OK and most things are fine in moderation, I know that I don’t consume sugar in moderation.

I have cut back on sugar in the past and it’s a great feeling to know I am consuming less sugar. Unfortunately, the change doesn’t always stick around long-term! Because baby will be showing up in October, I know that eating a healthy diet will help to keep my energy up with a newborn. Well…as high as an energy level can be with a newborn. ;) I am joining the #GoodbyeSugar30 Challenge in hopes to cut down on my sugar intake.

Read more about my 12 Mini-Goals Challenge.

Faith

September: Read Daily Devotional New Testament: Through the New Testament in a Year every morning. This daily devotional includes two readings from the New Testament, a short reflection, a portion of the Psalms and a thoughts for prayer section. I enjoyed reading this devotion every morning. I have spent the last year or so changing up my daily devotion and I liked just having one that I go to every morning.

While I know the importance of starting my day in God’s Word, the third-trimester tiredness is getting the best of me. I again wasn’t consistent with this in September.

October: Continue to read Daily Devotional New Testament: Through the New Testament in a Year every morning. 

Morning devotion with my girls

September: Read a daily devotion or bible story with my girls at breakfast (on non-school days). I did OK. I didn’t track my goals on paper this month, so it’s hard to know. 

October: Read a daily devotion or bible story with my girls at breakfast (on non-school days). I wrote more about this new morning routine here.

Home

September: Because of the eBook launch and spending more time than usual on sponsored posts, I have neglected a few things around the home. I would like to get more organized (declutter!) around the house and get a few things sorted and rearranged for the new baby. – I made some progress with this, but would like to do more in October!

October: Get ready for baby: wash baby laundry, prep more food for the freezer, clean up around the home, enjoy quality one-on-one time with my girls.

September Blog Goals

October Blog Goals

  • Complete Christmas Planner (done!) and write blog posts for the planner.
  • Complete two sponsored posts.
  • Clean up subscriber list in Mailchimp. This is to keep e-mail list costs down.
  • Update savings schedule printable.
  • Make tentative posting plan for October – December.
  • Promote next Ultimate Bundle. Sign up to be notified of the next bundle.

If you blog about goals, I would love to have you stop by the first Wednesday (at 7 AM EST/6 AM CST) of each month to linkup your goals post. We look forward to reading your posts and encourage you to look around at the other posts linked up here.

Please join us to share your goals and progress for the week, month, or year. We are all about building a positive community; please remember to read, comment on, and share the post of others. 

Monthly Goals - February. Stop by to link up your goals post on the first Wednesday of each month...With Grit and Grace...a monthly goals linkup

Just a reminder…
  • All forms of goal posts are welcome. They can be for a specific area in your life, or your general goals for the day, week, month, or year. We love to hear updates on your progress too. Please only link up posts involving goals.
  • Make sure to use the URL specific to your post and not your blog’s homepage.
  • Link back to With Grit & Grace with our image or link in your post or party page.
  • Comment on the post prior to yours in the link-up. Support others through comments and shares.
  • By linking up, you give us permission to feature an image on our blog and social media. Proper credit and links will be given.
  • Join in on social media with: #withgritandgrace.
  • We want to support you! Please follow your hosts in some way.
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Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List 

October Mini Goal: Cut Back on Sugar

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 have always had quite a sweet tooth and know that I consume way more sugar than I should. While I believe that splurges are OK and most things are fine in moderation, I know that I don’t consume sugar in moderation. If I am hungry, I often reach for a sweet snack instead of a healthier and more filling option. This is especially true in the evening.

I have cut back on sugar in the past and it’s a great feeling to know I am consuming less sugar. Unfortunately the change doesn’t always stick around long-term! Because baby will be showing up in October, I know that eating a healthy diet will help to keep my energy up with a newborn. Well…as high as an energy level can be with a newborn. ;)

My October Mini Goal: Join the #GoodbyeSugar30 Challenge and watch my sugar intake

In October I am going to join the #GoodbyeSugar30 challenge and look out for added sugars. I am going to watch labels for the number of sugar grams and watch my overall intake of sweets. One of the reasons I am excited to join the challenge is because it will help me to get to know sugar more. There are more than 60 names for sugar that may appear on the food ingredient lists. While I know some, I know I have even more to learn. I want to better understand the sugar terms so I can easily find them on food labels at the grocery store.

I will watch for added sugars and will look for places when I have control over removing the added sugars. I will be focusing on small changes to my lifestyle to help reduce my sugar intake.

I enjoy experimenting with recipes to see where I can reduce or replace sugar without ruining the taste. When I made baked pumpkin french toast the other day, I reduced the sugar in the topping and added in healthy ingredients such as oats and flax seed. I completely eliminated the sugar in the pumpkin/egg mixture and added SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener instead. SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener gives a great sweet taste without the calories, added flavors, or artificial ingredients. I was happy that there was no bitter aftertaste. Even after cutting back on the topping sugar and eliminating and replacing the rest of the sugar, the pumpkin french toast was just as tasty as before!

Cut Back on Sugar Cut Back on Sugar

Your October Mini Goal: Join the #GoodbyeSugar30 Challenge and cut back on sugar. Or make a different diet change.

Do you have any idea how much sugar is in your diet? Join the challenge to help you easily identify sugar when reading ingredient lists. Look for the added sugars at the grocery store and while cooking or baking in your kitchen.

Watch for places when you have total control the over removing the added sugars. Tea and coffee are great places to start. If you add sugar to your coffee, consider adding SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener instead.

Tools like SPLENDA® Naturals Stevia Sweetener can help make adjustments to your sugar intake easier than you may have thought. For more information, visit SplendaNaturals.com.

Join #GoodbyeSugar30 to help you spot other places in your diet where sugar is added.

Cut Back on Sugar

Let me know if you decide to join!

 Cut Back on Sugar

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.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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

How to Have a Healthy Morning

How to have a healthy morning

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 know that it’s common for moms to neglect their health. They are often too busy taking care of their families that they forget about their own health and wellness. It’s just not worth pushing aside your health!

While I don’t exercise as often as I used to and I splurge (often…you wouldn’t believe the amount of sweets I can consume!) on desserts, I make sure I am giving my health some attention.

  • I am a more patient wife and mother when I get the chance to exercise a few days each week, so I don’t feel bad that I make this a priority.
  • I know that food is fuel and I have more energy when I eat better.
  • I finally learned the importance of sleep and having a well-rested family!

How to have a healthy morning: Minimize morning stress, Plan your day, Hydrate, Drink warm, lemon water, Eat a healthy breakfast, Get moving, Consider vitamins or supplements.

The morning is a great time to start your day off right with a few healthy habits. Here are a few tips on how to have a healthy morning: 

Minimize morning stress by allowing for extra time

It’s stressful to wake up late and scramble around all morning. Save yourself the stress and set your alarm earlier than you need to, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. Adding extra time can help your day start in a calm and relaxed manner. It also gives you wiggle room if something comes up and your morning is derailed. If you have children, you might need more than 10 extra minutes scheduled in!

Spend a few minutes planning your day

Go over your calendar and make sure you know what is on the schedule for the day. If you don’t meal plan weekly, the morning is a great time to think about what is for dinner. You are more likely to prepare a healthy dinner if you think ahead and aren’t forced to scramble at dinner-time.

If you need help planning out your morning, check out Make Over Your Morning.

Hydrate

One of the first things you should do each morning is drink a large glass of water. You wake up dehydrated and this is the perfect way to get your body ready for the day! I try to drink a glass a water before I start in on coffee. Here are 8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day.

Drink warm, lemon water

Meet your hydration goals by starting the morning with warm lemon water. This is a quick and easy drink to add to your morning.  Here are some of the benefits of lemon water.

Eat a healthy breakfast

I am sure that I don’t need to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You have fasted all night and your body needs fuel to start your day and to get your metabolism going!

I feel so much better when I have started my morning off with a healthy breakfast. I like to have my breakfast satisfying enough that I do not want to snack all morning. I leave room for plenty of splurges in my diet, but breakfast is the one meal that I try to always keep healthy. If my diet is less than stellar the rest of the day it’s nice to know that I got it right for one meal! 

I typically start my day with one of the following: oatmeal, yogurt & granola, eggs, or a smoothie. I like to add flaxseed, cinnamon, protein powder, and chia seeds to my oatmeal or smoothies for a healthy boost. Check out Thrive Market to get these healthy add-ons! Get 15% off your first order here.

Get moving

This is my main stress reliever. I start to get unpleasant when I go too long without exercise! If you are not exercising consistently, start by adding small amounts of exercise into your day. If you have trouble getting motivated, remember that the first step out the door is the hardest. Once you get out and exercise, you will rarely (if ever!) regret it. 

Try this quick Wake-Up Workout, one of the many free resources on this list.

Wake up well-rested

Sleep is so important! I took me years to realize that I should actually prioritize sleep and it’s worth making a few changes.

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

Find your morning incentive

Figure out what quick activity or treat refreshes and relaxes you. If that gives you a little more patience to get you through the day…schedule it in!!

Consider vitamins or supplements based on your needs

While I try to get most of my nutrients from foods, I supplement based on my current needs. While pregnant this includes a prenatal, Vitamin D, and fish oil. I am adding in a probiotic as I get closer to delivery, in case I need to be on an antibiotic as I was with my other two deliveries. I add more Vitamin C and zinc to my daughter’s diets as the cold season approaches.

 

How to have a healthy morning: Minimize morning stress, Plan your day, Hydrate, Drink warm, lemon water, Eat a healthy breakfast, Get moving, Consider vitamins or supplements.

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