Sunday, October 30, 2011

Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop 10.30.11

Happy Sunday, friends! My first week of work at my new department turned out well. Of course, there have been hits and misses but that's how we learn, right? Mistakes are really good teachers and what's important is we learn from them and become wiser each time. I guess I'm ready to experience mistakes again this coming week, as long as they are totally different from the ones previously committed. So much learning happened and it was already Wednesday (whew!) when I finally felt that I got my bearings and I can see where the North Star is (in relation to my work). It has been a busy week but see, I made it in one piece, good enough to be able to post today :D

You might have noticed that I changed the labels of my menu bar (through the help of my designer Kim, of course). Instead of having the Blogging for Dollars Series and 31 Days to Holding a Successful Blog Party Series on my sidebar, I decided to give them their own home, thus the Series tab at the top. The Biz Directory currently shows my Market Your Biz and Giveaways posts but that will eventually be updated to show just the businesses I worked with and featured at the MYBG party. Finally, the last tab is the link leading to the Creative DIYers Club, a blog that I created to serve as my online journal of the tutorials of extraordinary projects by creative DIYers.

Just when I thought my pageviews will start to dwindle because I'm not devoting as much time as I used to before I started my full time job this Monday (though I still spend a good deal of 10+ hours a week for it), to my surprise, it exceeded my expectations! For the first time, I got 7000+ pageviews in just one day in my entire one year of blogging career last Monday. I thought that come Tuesday it'll taper off but to my delight, 20000+ pageviews just for a post that I thought readers won't have a second look - also in just one day! So to you my friend who stumbled me on Stumble Upon, which caused a succession of being Stumbled Upon 2 times more, thank you so much! You made my week so happy and bright :)

Blog Tip
Did you ever wonder how to install different fonts that you can use for your blog? Renee @ LivingLaughingLoving provides the answer so check out her detailed tutorial.

Favorite Blog
You clicked, inlinkz tallied. The readers' favorite blog post this past week out of 298 links, being the most viewed post, is Natasha's I'll be home for Christmas post. Now that it's starting to get cooler here, everything is pointing to the best holiday of the year, and her blog's name is very fitting for this occasion - Keeping the Christmas Alive, 365.



Our Party
To the main course of this post.
For those of you joining us for the first time, we only have 2 easy, simple rules:

1) Link up your creative post - can be a DIY project, decor, photography, crafts, recipes, poem, thrift finds, link party, or that informative syndicated post that can make us laugh, or cry - in short, whatever you're proud of! And if you like to link more creative posts, go for it! We'd love to see them :) (No links to businesses or giveaways. We have another party for these exclusively every Tuesday called Market Your Biz & Giveaways at 5 pm, PST.)

2) Follow as many blogs as you desire, preferably starting first with the one who linked before you and after you, before branching out, and let them know by leaving a comment. (Following me will be very much appreciated, and I definitely follow back. Just let me know you're following.)

Displaying the party button on your blog, while optional, is very much appreciated :) It will help you remember to come back and link up to the the happiest blog party on the block (ahem!). It will also help others find their way to the party which we all love because the more the merrier :)

Link opens up every Sunday at 5:00 pm, PST and ends Friday at 11:59 pm.



Friends, go ahead and get to know each :) One followed blogger is one gained friend. And please, don't forget to join my Market Your Biz and Giveaways blog party every Tuesday at 5 pm, PST. It's your chance for free promotion of your family-friendly business and giveaways.




Burning question: Just curious, how many hours a week do you spend in your blog?

Embarrassing to admit, but I used to spend at least 20 hours a week, prior to getting this full time job - the bulk of which is responding to emails and comments, visiting participants in my blog parties, editing pictures, writing posts, tweaking blog look, and a million of little things devoted to blogging. Now, it's reduced to half so I apologize if I can't do these all anymore. I've been stressing out yesterday that I wasn't able to feature any project from this past week's edition of CBPH but I finally gave up because as mommies, I know you'll understand that building memories with our kids comes first above everything else. How about you - how much time do you spend blogging?


Mouth-watering Nutella Croissants!

My dear friend Veronica from Life In the Thrifty Lane inspired me with her Nutella Pockets post that I told myself, I'm so gonna do this, too. At that time, I have never ventured into posting recipes here in my blog, for the simple reason that I don't cook nor bake that very well. During the summer break, I commissioned Princess One to visit the linked up blogs in my previous editions of CBPH blog party and she ended up bookmarking all these delicious recipes. I finally showed her how to pin in Pinterest so 90% of those pinned recipes are her choices. Seeing how much Princess One enjoys venturing into new recipes, I decided that I'll explore with her. This recipe is the first we did together with much gusto and success that we kept on experimenting more each week.

It's so easy to do, actually, and so delicious when baked.

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Here are the ingredients you'll need:

Mini-marshmallows

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Nutella

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Crescent rolls

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Line parchment paper on top of baking sheet. Open the crescent rolls package per label instructions. Unroll dough on top parchment paper.

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Separate dough into triangles.

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Using a spoon, scoop up some Nutella then spread over on top of the triangle dough.

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Add 2 mini mallows. I'm using fewer and smaller mallows because when I used the big ones for the first time, they just oozed out of the dough when baked.

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Roll the dough starting from the base of the triangle to the tip of the triangle.

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Curve up the edges to make it look like a crescent moon.

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Bake at 350° for 11 to 13 minutes, per package instructions.

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Enjoy the aroma of freshly-baked pastry.

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Invite everybody to dig in and before you know it, these yummy croissants are all gone.

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Here's my not-so-little chef savoring our creation.

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I hang out here:
The DIY Showoff, Metamorphosis Monday~House in Roses ~ Southern Hospitality ~ Round Tuit ~ Crafts Keep Me Sane ~ The Girl Creative ~  C.R.A.F.T.  ~ Craft-O-Maniac ~ Dittle Dattle  ~ Skip To My Lou ~ Boogieboard Cottage ~ Making The World Cuter  ~ Sumo's Sweet Stuff ~Chef-n-Training {T}~ The Lettered Cottage ~ Coastal Charm ~  Today's Creative Blog ~ Home Stories A 2 Z  ~Tip Junkie ~ Sugar Bee  ~ Ladybug Blessings ~Not JUST a Housewife ~ Playful Decor ~My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Homework ~ Crayon Freckles {W}Type A ~ Southern Lovely Savvy Southern Style ~ Ginger Snap Crafts ~Sew Much Ado ~ Lil' Luna ~ Fabric Bows and More ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Creations By Kara ~ Someday Crafts ~Seven Thirty Three  ~Re{create} {T} Somewhat Simple, Beyond The Picket Fence, No Minimalist Here, The Shabby Chic Cottage ~Brambleberry Cottage ~ Fireflies and Jellybeans ~Brandy's Crafts ~Frugalicious ~ House of Hepworths ~Fancy Friday ~  Saved By Love Creations ~ {F}At The Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints On The Fridge  ~Simply Designing  ~Chic On A Shoestring Decorating ~Simply Sweet Home   ~My Romantic Home ~ Just A Girl ~A Little Knick Knack ~Miss Mustard Seed ~ Whipperberry ~ 504 Main ~  French Country Cottage, Shabby Nest,  Finding Fabulous  ~ Potpourri Friday ~ Remodelaholic, {S} Amanda at Serenity Now, Designer Garden, Be Different...Act Normal ~Funky Junk Interiors ~Tater Tots And Jello ~ Nifty Thrifty Sunday ~ Quilted Euphoria ~I Heart Naptime ~Under The Table And Dreaming ~ Flamingo Toes


Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogging For Dollars Series - Guest Post by Kristin from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

What a great privilege, my friends, to have Kristin share her moolah-making experience with us. She's the blogger behind the famous My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. She will share with us her money-making ventures with the wisdom of a pro, coupled with tons of humility. My dear friends, let's welcome Kristin!

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I'm so thrilled to be here today! Thank you SJ for having me. One question I think we as bloggers get asked quite frequently is if we make money blogging.


Yes, I do make a little money writing my blog. It is not a lot but enough that if my kids want to take soccer next month I don't have to stress about it.


It's funny, I still consider myself a complete amateur in this blog world. I didn’t start my blog with any aspirations of making a single penny. I honestly didn't realize it was possible unless you were a huge well known blogger.


When I started my blog it was a chance to show others how we changed
our kitchen from drab to fab on a HUGE budget.

Not once did I ever think I would have people following me, asking questions and actually looking forward to seeing upcoming posts.

I quickly found out how incredibly nice bloggers are and fell in love with the idea of documenting our projects.

About a year into blogging I was asked if I was taking sponsors.
Who Me? They couldn't be talking about me (It's that self esteem thing I have going on). Well, sure. It was scary but I accepted the sponsor and put a call out for others. All my spots were filled, what an incredible feeling!

There are so many different ways to make money blogging and I'll be the first to admit I'm still learning. I don't blog to make money, yes the small amount that comes in is nice but I blog because I love it.
My blogging income comes in bits and pieces, none of it huge.  Lets start with the most important one.

Sponsors


They are just like me, trying to make money, working their tails off crafting, sewing, painting, writing. They pay me a certain amount of money each month for a slot on my sidebar. When you click on their button you are sent to a fabulous company or blog you may not have known about otherwise. Each sponsor I have I believe in their product. I have had many companies that I have turned away because it wouldn't be a right fit for my blog. My readers come first and always will!
Reviews

Yes, I include this in my earnings. Having this blog has given me the opportunity to review products that I possibly never would have known about. I have happily reviewed/given away items I couldn't afford. I have found products that I love and believe in and continue to reorder after receiving it free the first time. My reviews are honest and again I would never review something that I felt my readers would not enjoy.

Ads

This is a touchy subject with bloggers. Although I was hesitant about adding a few ads on my site I will admit it does generate a little bit of money. I started off with adsense, beware! (you can google it or send me a private e-mail if your interested) This is a good example as why you should not put all your eggs in one basket. I am currently with adbrite and enjoy working with them.

Etsy Store




My etsy store isn't huge but it is something I love to do and it brings in a little bit of money. The best part; the e-mails and notes I receive after they have received their package!

There are so many other ways to make money that I personally have not dabbled in but have heard of many success stories.

Sponsored posts.

E-Books
Amazon affiliate
Writing Gigs
Escalate Network
Business 2 Blogger
Job offers

I could go on and on but I'm just trying to figure it out myself.


Keep in mind that every blog is different. What will work on some blogs may not work on your blog. Experiment, play around until you find something that works for you and that you are comfortable with. You are not going to become a millionaire blogging. If I got paid by the hour for what I put into my blog my husband wouldn't be working but I wouldn't change it for anything!

Thank you, Kristin! Sharing your valuable experience with us is much appreciated.








Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Easy Wipe Bib - Guest Post Tutorial by Abbie from 5 Days...5 Ways

We're in for a treat today, my friends! Abbie is here to share with us a very useful tutorial that all mothers would want to learn - making a bib for their little ones - with the added bonus of helping "green" up our environment. Take it away, Abbie!

Hi there, folks! I’m so excited to be sharing a fun repurposing craft with you today at Homemaker on a Dime, and I want to say a huge thanks to SJ for having me by for a visit!

My name is Abbie from Five days…5 ways and Secondhand or Bare Bottom. Yes, that’s right. I run not one but two blogs. Because being a mama to three children under 6, teaching fitness classes, trying to keep my house reasonably clean, knocking out a few DIY projects now and then, and spending time with my amazing husband doesn’t keep me busy enough.

Uh huh.

Here’s a quick peak at some of the things that I’ve been up to at Five days…5 ways, my primary blog where I write about a different theme for each day of the week (Move-it Monday—fitness, Try-it Tuesday—tutorials, Wardrobe Wednesday—fashion, 5 Things Thursday—a linky party where you can join me in posting a list with pics of 5 items on your mind, and Feature Friday— what/whomever I want to feature that day):

2011-08-21

Today, I’m going to show you a “green” way to take those cute reusable tote bags that are popping up in every supermarket and even retail stores and repurpose them in a fun, functional way for your baby. Even if you don’t have a little one, these make for super-simple custom baby gifts.

So what is this repurposing stroke of genius?

Easy-wipe bibs!

Think about it—the tote bags are usually made of sturdy recyclable plastic, and they often come in fantastic patterns, prints, and colors that would cost $$$/yard from a fabric store. Instead, you pay $0.99 for about a yard of “material,” which is just too good for a bargain-shopper like me to pass up!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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    • Plastic tote bag
    • Terry-cloth
    • Thread/needle
    • Ribbon (mine is 1 1/2” because I loved how this pattern coordinated with that adorable owl print on my tote, but 7/8” would also work great)
    • Scissors (obviously)
    • Sewing machine (optional…you could definitely sew this project by hand)
    • Bib template (click for the one I made/used, or you could certainly create your own)

1. Cut out your template or bib-shape of your choice and layer it over both your tote material and your terry cloth. Pin the corners.

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2. Cut around your template until you have the desired bib shape in both materials (P.S. I apologize for the funky coloring in the rest of my photos; life gets a bit harry with small children and a husband getting ready to leave for a week-long work-trip, and I’m afraid I lost my good light).

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3. Pin your ribbon to the top of your terry-cloth (because my ribbon was so thick, I cut 18” streamers for each side, but this could be shortened considerably for thinner ribbon).

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4. Lay your tote material over the ribbon, right sides together.

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5. Fold the ribbon up several times to avoid stitching through it. You can even pin it in place to keep it from flopping loose once you start sewing.

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6. Stitch around the edge of your layered materials, leaving at least 1/4” seam allowance (I wouldn’t got any higher than 1/2”, though, since this is not a large bib to begin with).

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7. Continue stitching your edges together, leaving about a two inch gap so that you can turn your bib right-side-out (hopefully your stitching is less wobbly than mine can be sometimes…this is what happens when you sew while your five-year-old feeds the baby and you’re constantly looking over your shoulder to make sure there’s more yogurt getting in her mouth than on her face)

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8. Bit by bit, pull your innards so that they become your outwards (helpful hint: don’t shove your finger inside without looking unless you really like the feeling of a pin being jabbed into it…I don’t).

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9. Close the gap with your needle and thread, and…

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10. Find an adorable baby-model to try your cute custom bib on.

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Ooooh. Look at that pretty bow!

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And there you have it, folks. A great way to think outside the fabric box so that you can have boutique-style goodies for your tykes without the high-end price-tag!

(P.S. I find the best tote-bag prints at Marshall’s. I looooove practically every single one they carry!)

Thanks again, SJ, for introducing me to your awesome readers, and thank you, awesome readers, for coming along with me on our little crafting jaunt today.

I hope you come join me on my blogging journey. Coming soon in November: a huge giveaway which could not only win you 1 of 3 really great prize packages but could also buy the materials to build a classroom for a group of orphans my family helps to support in Uganda. Stay tuned for how…

Hope to see you soon!


Thank you, Abbie, for such a well-written and informative tutorial!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Market Your Biz & Giveaways Blog Party #20 + GlassesUSA Sponsored Post

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It's Tuesday and that means IT'S BUSINESS DAY! Before we get to celebrate and meet all business owners, I'd like to share my experience with you about my current need for glasses.

My friends, I used to have a 20/20 vision! I could insert a thread in a teeny-weeny eye of the needle when I was sewing way back when. I can even spot a tiny speck of dirt on the floor. Lately, however, I've noticed that I'm having trouble reading the numbers whenever I measure things in my DIY projects. Not only that, I really have to squint my eyes so I can read the fine prints whenever I read directions in a can of paint, or other materials I have to do in a project. That meant I needed a pair of eyeglasses.

My husband has been wearing prescription glasses for a long time, and it's no joke that even if our insurance covers it, it's still atrociously expensive. Since most stuff is now cheaper when bought online, I thought, why not check out glasses online? That's exactly what I did.

I discovered that we can order glasses from different online stores. Each online store has different marketing styles, coining words such as cheap, quality, and money back guarantee. With that said, there's still one online store that stands out among the rest.

Enter GlassesUSA.com. It is the perfect store to start with. Let me tell you what's unique about them. Most of you have heard of them or have seen their stylish collection of quality eyeglasses without breaking the bank. Not only that, they have a collection of designer eyeglasses that include Calvin Klein, Ray Ban, Dior, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren and many more - for a very reasonable price.

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One other additional thing that is pretty awesome is their virtual mirror! You can “try on” the glasses before you buy them, which makes buying glasses online more enjoyable.

Besides their high quality frames and lenses, they offer a 110% lowest price guarantee and a 100% satisfaction guarantee along with a generous refer-a-friend program. Additionally, you can stay up-to-date on all GlassesUSA happenings through their Facebook page and their Twitter feed (@GlassesUSA).

In case you're ready to buy. here's their Fall Sale:
Buy any 2 pairs of glasses and get all 3 protective lens coatings AND U.S. shipping for FREE. Code: PERFECTPAIR
Take 10% off any order. Code: Blog10

Note: I've been compensated to cover the information mentioned above.

Our Party

NO RULES! Just link up your etsy and/or family-friendly business, browse other businesses before you and after you. It's a great way to network with other business owners. For the giveaways, same thing. Just link up your giveaways and join the other giveaways that catch your eye. If you have a creative post and you want to increase your followers, the appropriate blog party for that is called Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

Link opens every Tuesday, 5:00 pm, PST and ends Saturday, 11:59 pm.

Here's the party button. Displaying the party button on your blog, while optional, is very much appreciated! For one, it will help you to remember to come back here next week. Secondly, we want to spread the word about businesses and giveaways so many can join in. Mentioning it on Twitter and Facebook will also make you totally awesome :)




MYBG Inspiring Comments

"Thanks for hosting. Linkys for biz and giveaways are far and few; your linky has helped me reach to people saying that Adithis Amma Sews has launched Custom Made Kids Clothing and 2 Skirts are already on sale!"
Creative Mama

"Thank you so much for hosting. I've made a recent sale and believe it is from your blog party! Thanks again!"
Elisabeth Davis

"Thank you for hosting this every week. I have noticed that I do generate a lot of hits from your site and I really appreciate a place that I can find other etsy shops that I might not have seen otherwise. So thank you again."
Kate

"I cannot tell you how much I agree with everything Gina said!! So true to the word!
Also, a huge thank you to you for hosting. Ever since I started marketing my shop here I have had several sales and I believe that they came redirected from your blog! Thank you again and God bless!!"
Maya

"Thanks for hosting! Decent linky parties for giveaways and businesses don't seem to exist! So I appreciate this."
Kahli
Friends, network, buy if you must, join the giveaways, and have fun!

PS: I'm not a blog police but in the name of order and organization, you'll be my bloggy BFF if you link up in the appropriate links :D Please note that there are two links. Here's the link for your businesses. There's a second link below specifically for giveaways so how about linking up your giveaways in there? Besides, it's easier to find and join your giveaways if they're in the appropriate link. If you accidentally linked up in the wrong spot, don't fret. Just click the red x before your link to delete it, then link up in the correct spot.

Link Up Your Family-friendly Businesses Here





Link Up Your Giveaways Here
To bring maximum exposure for your giveaways, I'm collaborating with Brynn from MommyDigger so please feel free to link up your giveaways, too, in her party every Wednesday.






Monday, October 24, 2011

Roomspiration Features - Bath Edition

Happy Monday, my fabulous friends! My fellow hosts in the Roomspiration blog party agreed that today is the day to give recognition to the participants of of each edition. From last month's bathroom edition of Roomspiration blog party, I'd like to share with you the 5 most viewed posts out of 117 link ups.

At the top of the list is Roeshel's guest bathroom and powder room. In case you're wondering, this post garnered 137 clicks.



The post garnering second place is Stacey from Embracing Change's bath makeover. (123 clicks)



Jenna Sue's guest bath reveal is at the top 3. (114 clicks)



Sarah from The Yellow Cape Cod has a builder grade bathroom that needed a facelift. It's in the fourth spot. (106 clicks)



Honey Do's guest bath remodel is in our top 5. (99 clicks)



In the spirit of fun in using stats, I included the number of clicks of our top 5. Hope you find this info useful in your blog party.

Please visit also these phenomenal blogs and be inspired by the projects they featured. Who knows, the projects you might see may be the answer to your DIY or decorating dilemma.

Abode Love - entryways
View Along the Way - living room
Homemaker on a Dime - bathrooms
DIY by Design - guest bedrooms
Family Brings Joy - craft rooms
Involving Color - dining rooms
All Things Bright & Beautiful- kids bedrooms
a la mode - nurseries
Just a Touch of Gray - master bedrooms
The Blooming Hydrangea - closets and nooks
The Mustard Ceiling - laundry and mudrooms
The DIY Showoff - kitchens


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