Tips, tutorials, recipes, and reviews from one mom to another

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Make Your Own Wall Art

Make Your Own Wall Art

On It seems like every where I go I see all of these beautiful watercolor wall art. You know what I’m talking about! When your walking through Target, Michael’s, Home Good’s, or Books A Million. The only problem is that often times these beautiful pieces […]

Top Ten Father’s Day Gifts

Top Ten Father’s Day Gifts

Top Ten Father’s Day Gifts   The month of June brings us many wonderful things like warm weather, summer break, pool time, more daylight, the Stanley cup (Go Pens), outdoor festivals, and of course Father’s Day.  Growing up Father’s Day was always a difficult time […]

5 things I learned from my first month blogging

5 things I learned from my first month blogging

Today I realized that I have officially been a part of the blogosphere for one whole month. So I thought I would reflect on why I started doing this and what I have learned in the process.

Why I started…….

A month ago I decided to start this blog because I realized I didn’t really have anything that I was doing that was just for me.  This is something that happens to most moms whether you stay at home or are working.  You get so wrapped up in taking care of your family, home, work, etc. and just kind of lose yourself in it (not saying it’s bad). This year I turn the big 3-0 and for some reason or another that motivated me to want to make a change.  I also noticed that I haven’t been very social and rarely ever have time to see friends.  Which caused me to wonder if I could fix both of these things by starting my own blog (just for fun).    Upon giving it some thought I decided to take on the adventure and planned to mostly share recipes and ideas for crafts so that people could see how really simple it can be with a little patience.

It’s now a month later and here are the 5 biggest things I have learned……..

1.Self Hosting & WordPress– After doing some research I decided that I wanted to self-host and have my very own domain name.  Of course I read extensively about what self-host sites people were recommending and the pros and cons.  Eventually I decided to go with InMotion Hosting, a site that offers many helpful features and was within my budget ($100 for a year).  Once I chose the hosting site it was then on to looking into website design where I stumbled upon WordPress.  I have been very happy with both of these choices!  WordPress makes it pretty easy to figure things out as a newbie and includes tons of free website themes and plugins.  I think the hardest part of the whole process is determining your domain name and what kind of theme you want to use.  I feel like I am constantly looking at and changing my theme (just changed it last night) to find exactly what I am looking for.

 

2.Plugins/Widgets– When it comes to these I am still a huge newbie as I had never really heard of these things until a month ago.  At first I tried to figure it all out on my own without the help of the internet but eventually caved when I saw how much better other people’s blogs and sidebars looked.  My awesome #TribalChat sister, @YouBabyMeMummy  posted a lovely article on her blog about the 20 WordPress Plugins You Need.  I’ve learned that you need things like SEO plugins so that your posts are more searchable, share buttons so others can share your posts on social media easier, and a place where people can subscribe to your new posts.

 

3.Social Media– For most of my adult life I really only used Facebook and Pinterest in terms of social media but quickly learned that if you want to get more readers putting yourself out there is a must.  After a couple of days of starting I created my own profile on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+.  In the last month I have recognized that Pinterest and Twitter seem to be what help drive traffic to my blog the most.  My favorite has been Twitter, which is where I have met a wonderful group of bloggers who are very supportive and helpful.  It all started with @Mummyinatutu who was looking for a community to join when she first started blogging.  We call ourselves #TribalChat and meet every Tuesday for an hour to get to know each other better.  We also chat throughout the week and read and comment on each other’s posts pretty regularly.  Most of what I’ve learned is from these ladies!

MummyinaTutu #Tribal chat

 

4.Linky Parties– I’ll admit the first time I heard the term #linky or #linkyparty I wasn’t really sure what to think and was probably a little concerned. However, if I hadn’t started joining these I would not have anywhere near as many people reading or commenting on my site. I also wouldn’t have learned as much about starting a blog in the first place.  So what is a linky party you ask?  It is basically just a place (someone’s blog) where you can post (link up) one of your blog posts for other people to see and to look at and read other’s posts as well.  There is also a very good tutorial on how these #linkys work written by Cuddle Fairy.  I have been joining 3-5 of these a week based on how much time I have.  You can find links to several of my favorites so far on my sidebar. Each linky party is unique and has its own badge and set of rules.

 

5.Social Media Graphics– Like I mentioned earlier, I really started this whole process knowing very little about websites and graphics.  One of the things that has really helped me out are two websites that make it easy to create graphics and find free images to use if you aren’t a professional photographer (certainly not me) and don’t have lots of photo editing skills (again not me).  The first site I encountered from a similar blog post to this mentioned Canva, which has all the tools to help you not only find nice images but also play around with them to create a good social media graphic. It shows you step by step how to go about it.  My feature image for this post was made through Canva.  They also can help you set up an image that is perfect for whatever social media site you are specifically wanting to post it on (Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram).  The second site I found out about is Unsplash.  This is a site (and there are several others) that, if you sign up, you can receive a certain amount of free images by photographers who gave up their copyright.  This is so that you can use the image for your personal use without causing any legal issues.

There is my list of 5 things I’ve learned about starting a blog.  I hope that this is something another newbie will find helpful as I did just a month ago.  Let me know if you have any other suggestions about what I talked about.  I plan on writing a follow up post next month on my favorite Linky Parties.

Disclaimer: I chose to share the links in this post on my own and am not gaining anything from doing so.  Just sharing what has worked for me!

 

Lots of love to you all!

You Baby Me Mummy
Pink Pear Bear
Adventures of a Mom with a fitness tracker

Adventures of a Mom with a fitness tracker

So this week I felt compelled to write a little bit more of a personal post as I was looking into one of my #tribes linky party’s #abrandnewday which features posts of inspiration and healthy living.  I don’t particularly think of my self as a […]

Chicken Pizza Recipe

Chicken Pizza Recipe

As a busy mom who loves to cook I am always trying to come up with ways to make dinner easier while keeping it healthy and fun.  The best part about this chicken pizza recipe is that it can be made with lots of different […]

How To Make Paper Flowers

How To Make Paper Flowers

So after seeing many Pinterest pins on how to make easy paper flowers I decided to give it a try for myself.  I had also seen, like maybe many others,  several listings on Etsy for buying said paper flowers.  I thought to myself it cannot be that hard or cost that much to create them.  I’ll admit that it took a few tries and I had to play around with my technique before I got the hang of it.  However, once I got it down it took no time at all and I was able to use things I already owned.

Items you will need:

  • Glue Gun
  • Glue Gun Sticks
  • Scissors
  • Several Pages Thick Paper (I used scrapbook paper)

Step one is to pick some paper you want to use.  Personally I chose to use some old scrapbook paper that I have been holding onto for forever and that had colorful designs.  Now from my experience with making these I think they look better with either black and white colored paper or paper with bright or bold colors.  The print doesn’t really standout on the flowers unless you do this.  I learned my lesson from the first flower I tried to make.

Step two is to cut your paper into some circles.  Remember the bigger the circle the bigger (and harder to roll) the flower is going to become.  For example for my flowers I cut out two circles from one piece of scrapbook paper.

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Step three is where you use your scissor’s to cut a spiral shape into the circle.  I would urge you to cut the spiral starting out small then get bigger as you get close to the center.  Now when you are approaching the center you want to make the very center a little big because this will end up being the base for the flower in the end.  Now I haven’t tried this yet but I have red that you can cut the edges of the spiral it can make different designs.  However, if you want it to look like a rose as seen in the first picture, you just want to keep the edges normal.  Below is an example of how I do the spirals.

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Step four is where you start from the outside and start rolling the paper until you get to the middle where you left room for a base.  It can be hard to start the flower off.  Don’t worry too much about how tight you are rolling the paper.  I would advise that once you have gotten enough for the center of the flower that you try to roll it so that it doesn’t completely align with what you have rolled already.  This is what makes the flower look more real and natural.  If you look at the pink flower in the top picture you will see what I mean compared to the others.

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Step five is where you let the flower that you rolled up unravel naturally.  It should look like the picture above or a little different depending on how you rolled the paper.  Like I mentioned if you roll it up so that the paper is always even then the flower will have less shape and look less petal like.  Once you unravel the flower get the glue gun out and glue the underside of the flower to the circular base that you left in the middle of your spiral circle.

Seriously don’t worry if they don’t come out perfect the first few times.  It is definitely a learning process as you figure out what works best for you to achieve the look that you want.  Once you have figured it out you can make one in about 5 minutes.

My first one turned out like this.

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Try it out and let me know what you think or how it worked!  Hope you enjoy 🙂

 

im_graphicNEW

Petite Pudding
You Baby Me Mummy
Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

This recipe is extremely simple to follow and involves few ingredients making it perfect for dinner with the whole family! Things You Will Need -One Big or Two small sweet potatoes -1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil -1/4 Tsp. salt -1/4 Tsp. Black Pepper -1/4 Tsp. […]

Mother’s Day Craft

Mother’s Day Craft

The finished product! This project turned out to be a lot of fun and was even something I could include my child in.   Items you will need: terracotta pots, water proof or outdoor paint, paint brushes, potting soil, flowers of your choosing, and painters […]

Staying Positive

Staying Positive

image

It’s never easy to stay positive when you are going through something or your day starts off on a bad note. For example you spill something on your clothes as soon as you get to work or you lock yourself out of the house and car (things I’ve done several times).  But I’ve found that if you choose to start everyday with a blank slate or not dwell on the negative it can make a huge impact!

So this week I Challenge you all to try to start each day with a blank slate 🙂  Try it out and let me know how it goes.

Geometric Prints

Geometric Prints

Alright Ladies. I’m hoping to start a poll related to crafting! While I’m trying to enjoy my favorite cup of coffee I am wondering what is you favorite type of geometric to paint while making crafts. I attempted to paint a Chevron pattern onto a […]