21 Month Baby Post

It’s been a fun road I must say. My little man will be two in a few months. He’s so big, plus he is smart and has personality plus. I am so happy to get the opportunity to spend so much time with him on a daily basis.

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My Mental Health:

Well the little man is almost two and the tantrums have already begun with him. It is definitely difficult. I’m having to provide boundaries for him, which is difficult for me, because I want him to be happy. I want him to eat whenever he wants, I want him to have the opportunity to explore his environment. However, at the same time he has to learn that he can’t touch the T.V, he cannot eat 5 plus apple sauce pouches in a day or an hour. It’s very difficult keeping up with his energy level as well. I constantly have to decide between work, play, and chores. Then there’s just day where all I want to do is sit on the couch and not move. We have been sick a lot this year. In January I had mono, in February DH and I both got the flu, and in March my son Wesley got a stomach bug (I’m assuming it was mild food poisoning from eating out of the trash.) That little kid is quick, we have since made sure he cannot get his paws inside the trash can. This month, Wesley and I have both had a terrible cold. Basically I’ve been feeling miserable, which is why this weeks posts were non-existent until today. Mentally these last few months have just been exhausting. Fortunately, while I’ve been pretty exhausted the past three months, I have also been mostly relaxed without too many financial concerns. I’m so happy to be clear of the post pardum.

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Wesley got his first haircut recently. We were grocery shopping when he swiped the bell pepper from the display and bit into it. He thought it was an apple. The kid ate the whole thing including the seeds.

How Toddler is doing?:

His back teeth came in, he almost has a full set of teeth now. He’s walking and climbing on everything. However, I’m happy to say I can still make good use of the play pen and crib. He doesn’t climb out of those. Daniel (my husband) thinks its because he is lazy and doesn’t have a real reason to, because he won’t play with his toys alone. We got him new clothes he’s sort of in between 18 month and 24 month sizes. I bought him a bunch of 24 month clothes just to make it easy. He is starting to show interest in the potty and we are thinking about starting potty training here soon. I’m considering trying out the three day potting training method. I’m planning to start on a Sunday so my husband is here, I will take care of it all day Monday and then he can help me finish it off on Tuesday. Starting next week he will have Sunday and Tuesday off.

My only concern with potty training is that Wesley does still sleep in his crib at night, plus he does not yet know any bathroom words. However, he has shown the ability to pick up on words quickly when they are introduced and used consistently over a short period of time. I figure maybe he will pick up the bathroom words when we are teaching him. We have a little seat to place on our toilet for him, but we should probably get a step stool so I don’t have to lift him up their each time. I’ve sat him on the potty a couple of times with the kids toilet seat, he seemed a little scared, I’m hoping with the stool he would be more comfortable, because he would understand he can get down.

 

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Feeding Toddler:

He weaned himself from the boob, but recently he keeps lifting my shirt or pulling it down to look at my boobs. I’m not sure why he has the sudden fascination. I have started monitoring his snacks a little bit, he doesn’t realize when he is full. So I’ve set it up so that he gets one veggie bowl, one fruit bowl, no more than 2 apple sauce pouches, a cheese stick, and crackers or bread. Total he gets about 6 snacks a day now. Plus he also gets Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yeah my kid can eat. He’s currently around 25 lbs. and just under three feet tall. He’s a big boy, he still has some of his leg rolls, but most of the arm rolls are gone, and the belly is slowly disappearing too. His back muscles are amazing though, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned into a little athlete. I just hope he chooses something like swimming.

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Tips and Tricks:

Use small take and toss kid bowls to break up healthy snacks for your toddler. You can also use ziplock bags. Put a few different fruits in one, a few veggies in another, and if you want you can do nuts, crackers (goldfish), and raisins in the third. Provide the snacks through the day when they are hungry.

Keep a basket in your fridge specifically for kid snacks, so you or they can just open the fridge grab, open, and hand to them. Saves time, and prevents meltdowns.

 

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Spring Cleaning: Before a Move

Spring Cleaning is an essential part of your yearly routine, it allows you to refresh your home, get rid of the old to make room for all the new that came in over the winter holidays. It’s also a great way to make some extra cash, and begin the packing process if you are getting ready for a move. Even if you won’t be moving for another 3 to 6 months it is great to utilize spring cleaning as a time to begin packing away and minimizing your belongings.

We will be moving at the end of September so as a part of my Spring Cleaning, I have begun packing away my books and nick-nacks as they are not anything I will need as part of my essential daily tasks for the next few months. I suggest setting up at least 4 containers as you go through each room, while you clean.

As you begin Spring Cleaning and prepare for a move take the following steps.

Step 1: Make a list of rooms in your house/apartment. For example my list would look like this.

Living roomhome-1745377_640

Dining room

Kitchen

Pantry

Bathroom #1

Bathroom #1’s linen closet

Coat closet

Baby’s room

Baby’s closet

Master bedroom

Master bedroom nook

Master bedroom closet

Bathroom #2

Bathroom #2 linen closet

Step 2: Pick a room either begin in the back of the house or front of the house, if you have multiple floors pick a floor.

Go through each room, break it down into walls, flat surfaces, and floors. For example the bathroom might be broken down as. Mirrors, counters, bathtubs, toilet, sink, floors.

Step 3: While you are organizing and wiping down surfaces, decide what you are going to donate, sell, trash, or pack away. If you have a while before your move only pack away non-essentials. For example if you are like me and own over 800+ books and have no intention of minimizing that number, it would be a good idea to begin packing away those books you are not currently reading and that you don’t refer to often. Put all trash in a trash bag. storage-38093_640

Depending on how you are going to sell your items, i.e garage sale, craigslist, facebook group, or ebay consider each item carefully. If you are planning for a garage sale, put your donation stuff in there too, you never know what people might take an interest in. Whatever doesn’t sell at your garage sale you can then donate after.

Step #4: For things that you are planning to keep out, be sure to place them in their proper place. For example clothes and towels, should have a set place in the linen closet.

Step #5: Make sure you dust off any items you are packing away in boxes, otherwise you are just creating more work for yourself come moving day.

Step #6: Take your time. Utilize the Single Tasking method. to-do-734587_640

For more articles related to spring cleaning see below:

Kitchen Organization

Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen

Clean Out Your Computer Day

Surviving Life with a Baby Part 5: Chore Chart

Spring Cleaning: Tips and Tricks to a fresh Start of the Year

Do you have any suggestions for Spring Cleaning as you move? Let me know in the comments below.

Kitchen Organization

It seems everyone has their own way of organizing the kitchen, the pantry, and don’t get me started on the variety of ways in which we as people load the dishwasher. When my husband Daniel first moved in with me I was already well established in my first apartment where I had managed to organize the tiny kitchen so that it worked well for me and my style of cooking.

Daniel however, was used to a professional kitchen with everything within hands reach to do exactly what needed to be done. As it was, the way my kitchen was set up was illogical in his eyes. Over the first year of us living together, we made some minor changes to its organization, but it was never quiet perfect for Daniel and he would constantly explain how certain items would have been better placed in such and such location.

When setting up our new apartment, I took special care in organizing the layout of our kitchen based on the constant complaints and exclamations Daniel had made at the last apartment. The following is how I did it.

Pots/Pans:kitchen-487973_640

Place all pots and pans in the drawer attached to the stove, if you do not have one of these you have two more options.

  • Place pots and pans on a rack that hangs over head.
  • In a Cupboard that is next to or closest to the stove, particularly one that sits on the ground, as they tend to be larger than the overhead cupboards.

Also, place all metal baking sheets, steamers, rotisseries, and serving platters in a cupboard closest to the stove.

Cups:

Drink-ware should all be in a top cupboard nearest the fridge.

Note: do not put in cupboard above the fridge as this is very hard to reach. This cupboard should be used for rarely used items and or alcohol/ other products you would like to keep out of the reach of children.

Plates/Bowls:

Keep plates and bowls together in a cupboard that’s easy to view while standing in front of. Keep large mixing bowls here as well if you can. Keeping your mixing bowls here makes it easier to locate when you are thinking to yourself I need a bowl.

Tableware:

Keep all tableware in a drawer either nearest the edge of the kitchen for easy grabbing on the way out/ when you forget to grab one or place in a drawer beneath the location of your plates/bowls.

Hand Tools:

Spatulas, tongs, whisks, basting brush and bulb etc. etc. The items you use frequently should be in a cylindrical container on the counter near the stove, all others that do not get used often or that do not sit properly in the cylinder should be placed in their own drawer nearest the stove.

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Seasonings/ Cooking Oils:

Place in a cupboard/ on a shelf that is close to eye level near the stove (we had extra cupboard space in our apartment so one cupboard holds spices at eye level and another holds the cooking oils, extra rice, and cooking wine in a bottom cupboard since the shelves were taller.)

Tub-a-ware:

Do your best to keep Tub-a-ware mess exclusively on one shelf of your cabinets though ideally somewhere that is easy to see and grab from. We have two shelves of tub-a-ware one of which is a mess and contains the plastic cheap to-go containers. On the second shelf it is much better organized, this is where we keep our nicer glassware tub-a-ware.

Baking Dishes:

Put these in an easily accessible location especially if you use your oven a lot, you want to be able to easily locate the proper dish.

Kitchen Gadgets:

There are many different types of gadgets from toasters and can openers to mixers and electric grills; anyone who’s lived on their own long enough has collected at least a few of these gadgets. For the gadgets, you use every day its best to find an out of the way location on your counter-top, preferably near a wall outlet. We keep four such gadgets on our counters including the electric can opener, toaster, coffee maker, and the base of our blender.

As for our Microwave, we thought it better to save counter space for food prep by placing it on a small wooden table, which also acts as a holder for our recipe books. We have an eat-in kitchen so the table sits easily in the corner of our dining area.

Other suggestions for where to put the Microwave include:

  • In the pantry
  • Above the fridge
  • On your counter top if you have the space

So what about all those gadgets you don’t use on a daily basis?

Well in my case, they are placed out of the way in a bottom cupboard, as you don’t use them very often there is less concern to be had about visualization of these items, and placing them one behind another is not a big deal. Just be aware of the order in which you place them. If you use your crock pot more often than your electric griddle, don’t place the griddle in front of the crock pot.

Pitchers/Vases:pitcher-1259521_640

I keep all my unused vases under the sink and as for my unused pitchers; I keep them above the fridge. The cupboard above my fridge is a little taller than some so I like to place tall/awkward items that don’t get used very often in this location as it is out of the way.

Note: My Oven mitts hang off a plastic door hook usually reserved for hanging jackets on the backs of doors. I took an extra one that I had and hooked it over one of the cupboards near the stove. It is the perfect place for quick retrieval of oven mitts when I need them and it holds five perfectly.

Junk Drawer:

There is a junk drawer in just about every house, and more often than not, it is located in the kitchen. Though you don’t necessarily have to fill every drawer I understand the need to do so. In order to prevent the creation of a junk drawer in my kitchen I put assorted lids and straws in one drawer. I then put extra rags for cleaning and using in the process of a quick microwave steam in another drawer. My other drawers holds large utensils like tongs that don’t get used very often. The fourth and final drawer holds the silverware.

Please share some of your kitchen organization tips in the comments:

Deep Cleaning Your Kitchen

There are four main steps to keeping your kitchen clean.

1) doing the dishes

2) wiping down the counters

3) taking out the trash

4) sweeping/mopping the floors.

However, there are a number of other areas that you should really think about giving a scrub down to:

fridge drawers and shelveskitchen-2165756_640

behind the sink

electric can opener

cabinet doors

stove fan

microwave

pantry

cabinet drawers

top of fridge

oven

pot and pan drawer under stove

silver ware organizer

All of the areas I just listed are places that most people forget about or ignore. Many people like to do their yearly cleaning in the spring, me I like to get it done at least once a season in order to make sure my home is as clean and de-cluttered as I can make it.

Many people are busy and I understand this, but if you could just take a few hours one day every three months to do the following steps you would find your kitchen to be cleaner and a more inviting place to eat.

I hope that many of you already clean up messes as they occur, but I also know that some messes go unnoticed or kids and other family members may not be so great at cleaning up after themselves instead leaving disarrays behind them like some sort of spinning tornado everywhere they go. It is for these build ups of uncleanliness that this article is for. Now let us deep clean that kitchen.

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Step 1: Easy enough wash the dishes, any dish that is dirty in the house, score every child’s room, bathroom, living room, and play area to make sure that not a single dish is missed. Also, don’t forget to empty the fridge of all those un-eaten leftovers that have long since gone bad sitting in the back of the fridge.

After washing dishes thoroughly in the sink, place them in the dishwasher for proper sanitization. After all, you don’t know how long that cup was growing mold, or how long that pork chop was sitting in that glass bowl.

Step 2: At this point you likely want to take the trash out, as cleaning up the rest of the kitchen won’t be easy with it smelling like the entire last month’s decaying leftovers. While you are at it wipe down the inside of your trash can with soap and water to help prevent bacteria growth from smelling up your home.

dishes-1348213_640Step 3: After all of the dishes have been washed and put away wipe down the counter using your preferred cleaner, I really like method all purpose  grapefruit scented cleaner and their mint glass surface cleaner. Wipe down the counter tops and don’t forget to scrub behind the sink nozzle you will be surprised by the number of food particles and even mold that can form in that area simply because no one thinks to clean it. Also be sure to pick up all counter top appliances and clean beneath them as well.

Step 4: While your hands are on all those appliances give them a wipe down as well. This is also, where we get to the electric can opener. The cleaning of this area may require some special tools in order to make sure you can get into all of the little nooks and crannies of the gears. I recommend using the small part of a bottle cleaner as well as a strong cleaning formula in order to make sure the bacteria is killed. Note it is important to be careful not to stick yourself with the blade while you are cleaning, as it is very sharp.

Step 5: We often don’t think to clean out the inside of our cabinet drawers, but often our drawers get left open allowing dirt, food particles, and dust to make their way in over time. Give your utensils a good rinse or give them a quick sanitizing  through the dishwasher, wipe down the inside of the drawers with a food safe cleaner I like method all purpose for this one. All while your cleaning out these drawers make sure you wipe down all parts of your silverware organizer too after all these things can often become a place for dirt and food particles to gather especially since you often are holding plates of food as you open them and all kinds of crumbs can fall in there.

Step 6: Wipe down the front of all cabinet doors (especially if your cabinets are white, all that cooking can cause grime to build up creating discoloration).

Step 7: Wipe down the top part of your fridge, you will find the most dust collects up here.

Step 8: Wipe down the part of the stove fan that juts out from the wall, when you are cooking with things like oil and steam this area can easily build up with grime as a result of evaporation, dust also likes to accumulate here making for a nasty spot gathering right over the location where you’re doing your cooking. Gross!

Step 9: I’m sure this is an area you are constantly attempting to keep clean, but I feel its worth mentioning anyway, clean your stove tops, remove the burners and soak the drip pans scrubbing with steel wool for those more persistent burn spots. A good way to prevent having to constantly clean these is to wrap them with aluminum foil, doing this allows you to remove the foil when it gets too dirty and just add a new clean one. For those who do a lot of cooking on the stove-top this can be a major time saver.

gloves-415390_1280Step 10: I used to use an oven cleaner to clean my oven, but the fumes from that can be very toxic so I have since switched to using baking soda and vinegar.

Step 11: Don’t forget if you have a drawer beneath the oven that holds your pots and pans, this area often gets ignored. This is very unfortunate as food is very often dropped into this drawer while you are cooking and preparing meals, be sure and remove all the pots and pans and clean this drawer out with all purpose method cleaner.

Step 12: The microwave, this is a spot everyone hates to clean, but so often it requires cleaning, remember the inner glass circle can often be removed and sent through the dishwasher. For easy cleaning, put a bowl of vinegar in the microwave for two minutes, then wipe down with a sponge.

Step 13: Clean the fridge inside and out. Use bleach cleaner on the shelves and drawers. Pull all food products out before commencing the cleaning, throw out all expired items at this time after all no point in putting spoiled food back into the clean fridge. Be sure to remove the drawers and shelves individually in order to get to the back most parts of the fridge as often times when spills occur we don’t think of the possible mess they are making down the back part of the fridge. Also, give the top of the inner fridge a good wipe down as well. Be sure to do the same with your freezer after all it gets messy too.

Step 14: Clean out your pantry, throw out expired and empty food boxes. Wipe down the shelves, and sweep the bottom part of the floor. Dust off all the cans that have been sitting for a while and donate anything you know will not be eaten, but is still considered good. Place the older cans in the front and newer cans in the back.

Step 15: Finally, the last step sweep and mop your floors.

 

If you have any kitchen cleaning tips you would like to share or feel I may have missed something please leave a comment below.

Networking Events Across the U.S.A

Kinnectpay launched it’s first magazine yesterday. Check out the amazing article I wrote for them.

Networking is a key part of any successful business. And a conference is the perfect opportunity to not only make new friends, but also to learn new skills, gain new insight, and find mentors and backers if you are in the market for those things. After a thorough search of the internet I was able to score a list of 12 amazing conferences taking place between April and June of 2017. These events are taking place all across the United States of America and provide an excellent opportunity to both inform others about what you are doing, and to gain knowledge on how you can do it even better.

Events coming up in April:

LuLac National Women’s Conference

When: March 31st and April 1st

Where: Atlanta, GA

What?: Learn how Latina women have made it big in the world of politics. The conference will also host talks on Latina women in business.

CoSN 2017 Invent the Future

When: April 3-6

Where: Chicago, IL

What?: A leadership conference for educators, and educational technology creators. This conference is aimed at technology within the education system and is an excellent went to see what is being pumped out and to meet with those who choose the technology that is going into schools.

The Human Gathering

When: April 6th to 8th

Where: Los Angeles, CA

What?: An invitation only event, this conference is for those entrepreneurs who wish to give back to the world and humanity as a whole.

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When: April 25-27

Where: Phoenix, AZ

What?: An excellent experience for small business owners. This conference aims to educate, connect, and transform small business owners.

Events coming up in May:

Collision Conference

When: May 2nd to 4th

Where: New Orleans, LA

What?: Tech entrepreneurs, this one is for you. Meet with senior members working for sites like Reddit, Ebay, and AppDynamics. Bonus this conference takes place in the middle of New Orleans, Jazz Fest!!!

Grow Conference

When: May 8th to 10th

Where: New Orleans, LA

What?: Learn to grow your business at the Grow Conference. Perfect for those who already have a business, but are struggling to make it grow. Network with other entrepreneurs and learn what really works from people who have already done it.

Texas-EU Business Summit

When: May 9th to 10th

Where: Austin, TX

What?: For entrepreneurs interested in breaking into the European Market. Texas has the largest trade of any state with the European Union. This conference is designed to allow those interested in breaking into the market to network with people from across the pond, and to hear from speakers who have already done it.

TechCrunch Disrupt NYC

When: May 15th to 17th

Where: New York City, NY

What?: Aimed at startup tech business this is the perfect conference, for anyone looking to startup and anyone running a tech business. It is as entertaining as it is educational.

World Social Marketing Conference

When: May 16th and 17th

Where: Washington, D.C

What?: Aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of social marketing this conference brings together entrepreneurs, academics, and policy makers from all over the world. If you are looking to expand your knowledge on social networking and marketing this is the conference for you.

Events coming up in June:

Next Gen Summit

When: First week of June

Where: New York City, NY

What?: Are you intimidated by conferences, because of how much older the other attendees are? Check out the Next Gen Summit, geared specifically toward millennial’s who are wanting to build a business. Learn from others who have already succeeded, meet new people, and gain business partners or mentors.

TechWeek

When/where: June 5-9 in Detroit Michigan and June 19-23 in Chicago Illinois.

What?: Techweeks sponsors multiple conferences every year all across the nation. If the above dates and locations don’t work for you be sure to check in and see what other dates they have posted. TechWeek’s mission is to spread the wealth of technology entrepreneurship.

Power of Kinnections Conference

When: June 10th

Where: Austin, TX at the Palmer Event Center

What?: Here from key speakers on how they succeeded in their entrepreneurial adventures. Learn about kinnectpay and how they can help your business grow. Learn about the world of internet marketing and social networking.

 

Do you know of any new and awesome networking opportunities taking place?  Please share in the comments below.

Also to read the rest of the magazine please head over to Kinnectpay.com

Monthly Review/ Recap: March

This month has been a most unique one, not only did I finally get the opportunity to purchase my blog rights, we also had multiple visitors at the house, the baby caught a 24 hour stomach bug, and my husbands schedule went bonkers. Thought the month did not go 100% as planned I still managed to get a ton of stuff done. Not just with the blog, but also around the house. Some of you may remember my Website Revamp plan. I achieved many of the goals I set out for myself, but I also discovered some things would need to just become long-term projects. Specifically editing my 150+ old posts. In addition, to my blog revamp I also managed to get closer towards reaching some of my personal goals.

Posts by category:

Motherhood: 2

College: 1

Employment: 1

Social: 4

News: 7

Hobbies: 2

My favorite Posts to write this month: home-office-336378_1920

I loved every post I wrote this month. I lowered the number of posts that I was writing each week from 5 to 3 and interestingly enough my traffic slowed down a little, but my followers continued to increase at the same rate. By lessening the number of posts I was able to give more focus to what I wanted to say and write about. I’m taking it as a great lesson to the ode that sometimes less is more. I also ran a test of editing and updating an old post and re-posting it as new. The results were amazing and I’m thinking that is how I will continue to provide 5 posts a week. 3 New ones and two old/re-purposed posts.

Posts that received the most traffic:

I looked up the top five posts for every month since I began this blog in January of 2015, I was surprised to discover that since October 2015 my most popular post has been Expiration vs. Use by Dates. Knowing this I don’t want to keep repeating about how it made the list. Should a post sometime in the future surpass the Expiration vs. Use by Dates post then I will let you know. At any rate here’s a list of my top 6 posts for this month.

Expiration vs. Use By Dates

Old Stuff Day

Everything you Need to Know About Studying Abroad

Hobbies: Taking Care of Temperamental House Plants

Surviving Life with a Baby Part 7: Meal Planning

Developing Friendship as an Entrepreneur

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New Years Resolutions:

Personal:

Health:

I’ve been on the biggest health kick this month, eating more vegetables, and more meals cooked at home.I made homemade couscous for the first time, started making my own homemade salsa, and I even made smoothies with spinach in them.

I’m super proud of my healthy eating right now. In addition to that I also started using the Samsung S. Health App on my phone to help count my steps as I run errands, walk the dog, and even while I did laundry. I’m hoping to eventually transition to using the app as an incentive to walk even more. Meaning the baby and I are going to be going on a lot of long strolls.

I still have more steps to take towards a healthier me. For instance a bedtime and morning wake up routine would be a good place to start.

Financially: visa-957187_1920

My husband got a call from one of his long-term friends he just opened a restaurant and needs help, my husband is tired of long hours where he gets no time with his son. He is still working 6 days a week 14 hours a day, but here soon he will be going down to 40 hours with 3 days off a week. My job is to increase my income either via this or getting a part time job when that happens. Fingers crossed we see a big jump in my income report during my next two Roundup/Review Posts. In case you missed the last two check them out below.

Monthly Roundup/Review February

Monthly Round Up/Review

Even with my husband switching jobs for the what seems like 100th time we are still doing good financially. In addition, my credit score is on the rise thanks to careful use of our tax returns. Unfortunately, we are scratching our heads about how we are going to afford to move and get a new car. Some of the things we ended up having to purchase were a bit more than we budgeted for. However, we are determined in our ability to do it. Finally, amidst my blogging re-vamp endeavors I also re-launched my Fiverr account, however I still need to create a video.

If you are interested in hiring me, you can check out my Fiverr account here.

Related Posts:

3 Ways I pick up extra $$$

Surviving Life with a Baby Part 6: Budgeting

Ditch New Years Resolutions

Monthly Round Up/Review

bonsai-1269216_640Hobbies:

This month it was finally warm enough to start gardening, again. I love re-potting, watering, and pruning my plants. Plus I added some new ones I’ve never worked with before. It is a fun journey, learning how a new plant works. Ha, I’m still learning how to take care of my Hibiscus, which was one of my first plants. Check out my Hobbies Post on Taking Care of Temperamental House Plants. Unfortunately I was not able to give much time to reading, painting, or making jewelry, but I’m hoping as my schedule becomes more regular/predictable some of that will come into play. I did get to enjoy a good two hours of dancing this month. Kinnectpay and I took some time to navigate SXSW this month. We handed out business cards and shared with people about how they could make money by doing things they do on Social Networking Everyday.

To Summarize:

This month was an excellent goal achieving month I managed to take at least one or two small steps at achieving my bigger goal for the year in every category of my personal life, and wait till you here about how I managed on my writing goals. There is no better word to describe this moment, besides Ecstatic that is how I feel about this month. I’m happy and overjoyed at my ability to put my head down and bulldoze through everything the way I managed to do so this month. There were so many things that could have gotten in my way as well, but I didn’t and I couldn’t let it. This month I ate better, I raised my credit score, I danced, and I took care of my plants. Most importantly I purchased my blog and started the process of turning it into the site I always imaged it could be.

Writing Goals:

This month was busy, I purposely cut back my blog posts to 3 a week while I went through the process of updating and developing a marketing plan. In changing my weekly post count to 3 I was able to learn a lot about how I currently receive traffic to the site. In addition, I was able to give more focus to each article and was able to enjoy the writing process ten times more.

Clients:

I have a new affiliate partner and I can’t wait to share their product line with you guys this next month. It’s a product that I love and I am so excited that they accepted me as an affiliate member. I was afraid my blog wouldn’t be big enough, but I went for it anyway. I did not actively search for new clients this month, I actually stumbled on the affiliate sign up for this company, and couldn’t believe how quickly they accepted my application.

I also developed a marketing plan aimed both at gaining readership and finding/locating new clients. I did update and re-open my Fiverr account, but seeing as its been open for two weeks with no bites I’m thinking I need to come up with a new plan or re-work my packages. Finally getting around to making that video would be nice too.

Creative Writing:old-1130743_640

I spent some time developing a short story this month. Originally I was planning to share about story telling Day with you, but I just couldn’t find any love in writing the story, that’s how I ended up writing about my plants. I just love them, maybe even slightly obsessed since I’ve mentioned it multiple times now. Ha! I guess Gardening and Household plants will be going in the keywords now. 😛

My Income Report:

Kinnectpay: $130

Craigslist: $80

I did my usual work for Kinnectpay this month, but I also made some money selling an old phone on Craigslist, upping my income for the month.

How are your goals coming along? Have your Resolutions long been left in the dust? Check out my article Ditch New Years Resolutions for ways you can get back on track to achieving your New Years Goals.

3 Internet Scammers

Smoke and Mirrors Day a day which celebrates the art of deception and the skill of cunning. The internet has made the art of deception a much more easy and long term a game. Every year people are tricked out of their money, their time, and their feelings as others play on their emotions in order to feed their own gains whether its financial, or simply a means of entertainment. It really is sad to think how many of us have likely been conned, tricked, or bamboozled in one form or another. So how do you know? How do you look past the smoke and mirrors that are the internet to find whether or not something is truly worth your time, energy, emotion, or your cash? Today I have tips for spotting the 3 Internet Scammers.

We’ve all heard of the term catfish and troll. Maybe you’ve also heard the term emotional vampire as a part of your daily life. We have all of these words to describe the types of people that know just the way to work under our skin and make us feel really good about ourselves before pulling us down into a emotional state of disappointment, depression, and anger not only at ourselves, but the world as a whole.

Spotting the money scam:

cyper-1957736_640Obviously you should never send money to anyone you have never met in person. If anyone you met via the interwebs asks you for cash because they are stuck in another country, lost their job, or need you to transfer it to someone else don’t do it its a scam and not worth the hassle.

 

 

Spotting the Troll:forbidden-151987_640

People are not always after your money, sometimes people just want your attention and they will spin extreme and horrifying stories to get it. If you spend time on a thread like Reddit or BabyCenter and you see new members posting far out their threads you may have found yourself a troll. Sometimes they will have long tales of how they did x because someone else did y to them. The y action may be pretty bad, but it does not always warrant action x. The person will then backtrack and add more reasons to why they did x or even state that they meant something else. Excuses, backtracking, and the changing of the original story are all ways to spot a troll. Also anyone who has extremely differentiating opinions from the board or threads may theme who begins arguing from the opposite side and being completely obnoxious about stating why you are the concept is wrong and any one who believes it is insert horrific exclamatory here. You may also have yourself a troll.

Fishing out the Catfish:

catfish-1581045_640Anyone that you have been conversing with in a romantic setting that refuses to send an updated selfie or participate in video chat is more than likely catfishing you. Better yet when requesting images of people you have never met, make it a game and tell them to do it with some type of random item. Maybe even have them pose with a spoon.

 

 

Have you ever been trolled, catfished, or scammed? Tell me your story in the comments, how did you spot them.

Related posts that may also interest you:

Clean Out Your Computer Day

Why is the Millennial Generation so Poor?

Single Tasking Day

Developing Friendship: As an Entrepreneur

I have a New Years Resolution to reach 10,000 followers this year, so being the research nut that I am I’ve been looking all over the internet for ways to achieve my goal. During my research I discovered the blog Successful Blogging where I found 5 Simple Steps to attract 1,000 visitors to your posts. One of the steps involved Cultivating Friendships. How do you cultivate friendships as an Entrepreneur? Similar to how you develop friendships in your personal life. Converse, do favors, and spend time.

Why do I suck at making friends?

Truth be told I’m an Ambivert, meaning I’m equal parts extroverted and introverted. I greatly enjoy spending time with people, but I also greatly enjoy time alone. Some times I will swing a little more one way or the other depending on the season.

Growing up I was often conflicted, because I felt I had no friends. The anxiety and sadness about this idea  would just overwhelm me, turning me into a whining, weeping, mess. The problem? I did not have the skills or emotional support needed to promote the friendships I had. I didn’t really know how to hold a phone conversation, text messaging had only just become a common thing, and I didn’t have access to the social networking sites my friends were using namely MySpace, and soon later Facebook. tree-200795_640

Since becoming an adult not much has changed, albeit I do have access to social networking sites. In fact, I have 8 accounts, two on facebook, and two on pinterest. However, despite my large number of social networking accounts  I still lack the emotional connection of a lifelong friendship, that I always dreamed of as an adolescent. (My husband is someone I would definitely my best friend in life and I consider myself extremely lucky for having found him. However, his and I’s relationship goes beyond friendship, we are life partners are failures and achievements personally affect the other.)

  • If you would like to connect with me via social media you can find me at the following

Twitter- twitter.com/LeeannMinton

Facebook- facebook.com/leeannminton

To be perfectly honest I don’t get out much, the difference between now and my adolescence is rather than blaming my friends or my life I understand it to be a me problem. I know that if I really want to build and cultivate strong friendships I need to communicate with my friends. I need to make plans to spend time with them. If I do this they in turn will then want to make plans with me. My problem is I don’t take the time to communicate and I don’t make plans very often.

communication-1015376_640Converse as an Entrepreneur:

Whether you’re a blogger, e-commerce seller, or landscaper if you want to grow you business you will need to hold conversation with other people.

As a blogger this may mean participating on Reddit Threads, other blogs, or even facebook groups. Check out this cool post by Suzi from Start a Mom Blog, she has everything you need to know about facebook groups on her site.

If you sell home-goods like lamps, tables, and chairs you will need suppliers as well as some marketing assistance. If you want assistance in marketing your website you may want to employ the help of a blogger. You may find yourself attending real estate, or interior design meetups. Comment on other blogs, participate in conversation on social media. Interact and participate and people will eventually start doing the same with you. Perhaps even send a complimentary email about something they did or said that inspired you.

As a landscaper you could follow a similar path to the e-commerce or since your business is more localized get to know your neighbors. Attend the neighborhood barbecue, go to those lame Home Owner’s Association meetings. After all both those release you from the awkwardness of door to door selling.

Do favors as an Entrepreneur:feedback-1825508_640

Obviously as an entrepreneur you are in the business for the money, but remember opinions, advice, and social networking shares are free. Also they have the potential to bring you more clients and showcase your business. As you find people you would like to gain traffic from or aspire to take on as a future client you may want to do unprompted favors for them. Maybe you comment on a number of blog posts, perhaps you notice a broken link (mention it to them), e-mail them telling them about how their post made you feel and share their post via your own social media platforms. Write  a review about their site or service on your own blog and link it back to theirs. Inform them of this and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

coins-1523383_640Spend Time as an Entrepreneur:

Time is money, sometimes its literal and sometimes its figurative. By attending networking events that allow you to meet with potential clients and even allow you to meet with others in your niche you may be able to make connections that last the entirety of your career.

Using the same examples a blogger may attend events related to blogging, marketing, or depending on their specific niche they may attend a great number of different types of conventions and networking events.

Someone in e-c0mmerce selling lamps, tables, and chairs might attend marketing, small-business, and entrepreneur themed conferences, but they may also attend Real Estate Events or even crafting, antique, and Steam Punk themed events if their furnishings apply to a smaller niche market.

As a landscaper you may find it useful to attend Gardening conventions or even a local Farmers Market. Get creative and think outside of the box to find and expand your market as a means of growing your clientele.

If you are located in the Austin area, Kinnectpay will be hosting its first annual Power of Kinnections conference on June 10, 2017 at the Palmer Event Center. Tickets go on sale April 1st. For more information please visit Kinnectpay.com and if you haven’t yet joined the social networking site that pays you to Kinnect, do so now by clicking on my referral link.

Do you have any tips for making friends as an Entrepreneur? Please share in the comments below, I’d love to hear about your ideas.

Hobbies: Taking Care of Temperamental House Plants

I started keeping plants as a sophomore in College. I really wanted to get a pet, but knew I just didn’t have the time or money to take care of one the way I would want. So instead, I bought myself a few plants that I could nurture, but also not feel too bad if they bit the dust. I started with a few herbs, Celosia, and a hibiscus plant. The hibiscus is still around, I’ve replaced the herbs a few times, and my celosia lasted a few years before a hard freeze took them out. I just recently replaced the celosia. In addition, I’ve added quite a few other plants to my collection. This season I added some of the most temperamental plants of them all including two orchids, and a Bonsai Tree.

Total I have 10 plants right now:pink-2146772_640

  • Baby Oak Tree
  • Hibiscus
  • Celosia
  • peppermint
  • lavender
  • 2 orchids
  • Aloe Vera
  • Bonsai Tree
  • Kalanchoe

What I love about Plants:

I love coming home to see my plants in bloom, its like coming home to a smile, every time I leave home. In addition, watering, pruning, and re-potting them is relaxing to me and provides me a feeling of tranquility. It is also fun to rearrange the plants around the patio.

flaming-kathchen-189547_640My Watering Schedule:

I do my best to water the outside plants once a week, sometimes I do it twice and sometimes I will skip a week especially if we get a lot of rain. I regularly will check their soil to determine if its wet or dry, though in some cases like with my oak tree I can tell by site. The orchids each get watered once a week usually on Thursdays. One requires ice cold water while the other is fine with just regular cool water. The Bonsai gets water more often because I have to use a squirt bottle to prevent the water from just going everywhere. Typically I water the Bonsai two or three times a week.

Plant food:

I feed my outside plants by adding Epsom salt to the water once every season. I have not started feeding my orchids yet, but have done some research on making my own food and plan to try my hand at it here soon.

I’m planning to use the following ingredients:

  • Used tea leaves
  • Epsom salt
  • Rice water
  • milk
  • molasses

I read that egg shells, and chicken bones work as well, but I don’t have the materials necessary to crush chicken bones, and from what I read the egg shells are more for fertilizer.

Trimming my Plants:bonsai-1269216_640

I try and trim my plants a couple of times a year, I clear off anything dead, or if its something like the bonsai that I am working to shape, I will trim off any access that I find to be unnecessary. During the big freeze I had that killed most of my plants, I thought I had lost my Hibiscus, I cut it all the way down to the base because everything was dead. I continued to water it and gave it a little Epsom Salt. I was so happy that it grew back. It did take a couple of years before it bloomed again though. However, the summer after the big freeze I also moved up here to Austin, which has a slightly different climate than Huntsville, TX.

blossom-1401810_640

One of my favorite College professors shared a great stat with me, he said the average potted plant grower will kill 70% of the things they plant. Before that terrible freeze a few years back I had a great track record of only killing about 20% of my plants. Since then winter has still managed to be a little tricky for me and I’m probably sitting around 60 or 70% failure rate over the entire 6 years that I’ve been doing this.

Do you keep any plants? What sort of plants have you tried your luck with and seen success? I’m interested in growing my own vegetables one of these days. I’m just not comfortable with the idea of doing it out of pots. Tell me about your planting success or failures in the comments below.

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About Studying Abroad

One of the things I missed out on in college was studying abroad. It is one of the few regrets I have in life. However, my youngest sister Mia recently did get this opportunity, she did a summer intensive program in South Africa followed by a fall semester in Florence, Italy. She agreed to answer a few questions for me about her experience. In addition, she supplied a couple of links to the organizations she went through to do it.

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Introduce Yourself:

I’m Mia and I am an Interdisciplinary Sculpture major, Culture and Politics minor, and Photography minor.

How many countries did you visit?

map-1804891_640

Map of Europe by Hans

Over the course of 5 months I went to 9 countries.

  • South Africa
  • Italy
  • France
  • Spain
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Germany
  • The Vatican

What classes did you take? How many credit hours did you earn?

I earned 15 hours that counted as 5 courses

  • Advance Sculpture, where I learned plaster casting & carved white Carrara marble.
  • Body Archives a multi-media course that looked at how the body has been depicted in European culture over centuries, this course had 2 exhibitions, one was at the Anthropology Museum in Florence.
  • Women in the Arts an art history course looking at female imagery, female artists, and female patrons in and from Italy
  • A MICA course (6 credits) with professors that were sent over with us to facilitate an independent studio course (open course allowed to create what ever art that we wanted inspired by Italy).

How did you record the events of your excursion? travel-420011_1280

I have a journal that I bought in Rome at the Borghese Gallery that I kept all my tickets from museums and miscellaneous things (train tickets, postcards, pamphlets, etc.)

 

 

What was the biggest lesson you learned on your trip abroad?

  • Your time abroad goes too fast, you have to learn to do things for yourself.
  • If someone is ruining your time by always being negative you just need to move on without him or her.
  • Explore the world and do it with people who are passionate and excited about life and have similar interests. I wish that I would have just done things without thinking about others opinions.

Did you meet interesting people? Do you plan to stay in contact?

I met a lot of people from other schools and most were not art majors so it was interesting to see the work that they created. I added most people with social media some go to schools close to me so I hope we stay in contact. I also made friends from my school that I didn’t know before traveling and now we hang out regularly.

Did you learn any of the language? Was it easy to communicate with the locals?ice-cream-1123717_640

Florence was such a tourist hot spot that everyone spoke English to me. Most of the time if people speak English and they know you speak English than they try to practice it with you. I know enough Italian to say common phrases like greetings, ordering food, and ordering gelato.

 

What are some of the essentials you were glad you packed and brought with you?

The food there is different I’m glad I packed some fruit roll ups, they just reminded me of home and provided something familiar. Pack extra underwear Italian apartments don’t have dryers usually so you need enough to get you through laundry day. I packed a couple pairs of good walking shoes, and my own pillowcase some apartments will have all the stuff you need, but it was nice to have something from home sleep on.

slippers-704705_640Was there anything you did not pack, but wish you did?

Extra deodorant the deodorant there is roll on and it’s not the best. Slippers for walking around the apartment floors there are tile and the buildings are old and not well insulated. Something to personalize the room, pictures from home.

What advice do you have for others who are considering a semester abroad?

Find a place that has something you’re interested in arts, history, politics, culture, etc. Then once you get there travel as much as you can with as little as you can. Explore the city that you stay in, so many people just wanted to go out to all the clubs and bars and would sleep all day. You can drink in any city but you can’t see The David or 5th century mosaics or a museum on the work of hard stones just anywhere.

Would you do it again?old-1130743_640

Definitely, I think that it helped me expand as an artist and make work that had more research behind it. I now have experience with American history/ culture and European history/ culture. It allowed me to grow up and become independent as well as made me into an experienced traveler. I have seen almost every piece of art that I have learned about in art history courses which was really exciting.

Did you find this article/interview helpful? If you have further questions or would like to see more material like this please comment and let me know in the comments below.