Tiny Living Solutions: Stackable Mugs
February 23, 2016
As promised, here’s the start of my tiny living series. We’ll be discussing stackable mugs as a space-saving solution. I decided to start of slow. We’ll ease into the idea of downsizing and living small. (Because I’m pretty sure if I shared how I recently got rid of my entire wardrobe and replaced it with 3 pairs of pants, 2 dresses, 5 shirts, and 3 pairs of shoes, you might run for the hills.)
For me, simplifying my life by living small is not a headache. It’s empowering. It’s inspiring. It’s exciting. Being a minimalist frees up my time to focus on things that matter. It also saves you a ton of money. So, in theory, by downsizing and sticking to staples, you’ll free up your finances for better, more rewarding things. Like paying off your student loans. (Ugh).
Ok, let’s get to it: stackable mugs. What are they and why will they help you downsize?
Stackable mugs seem pretty self explanatory. They’re coffee/tea/multipurpose mugs that stack and stay stacked in your cabinets. Why will stackable mugs help you? Because in my cabinets, I can fit 3 mugs in the amount of space that 1 mug used to take up. So, if I keep 12 mugs in my cabinet, I’m only using the space of 4 traditional mugs. Yay for easy space-saving solutions, right?
There are so many styles of stackable mugs. You can find these almost anywhere. A lot of stackable mugs come with a metal cylinder container. This is unnecessary and takes up valuable space.
Unless of course you don’t have cabinet space to spare, then this is actually a good use of counter space because the footprint is very small.
The stackable mugs I love are from the Starbucks You Are Here collection. You can get them at many Starbucks locations or find them online at Amazon or eBay. Unfortunately, Starbucks does not sell these online. The point of the collection is that you should physically be collecting them from their locations. However, they are cute and functional. You can always get a set of 6 New York mugs or wherever your home location may be.
Or you can get these adorable Disney stackable mugs from Amazon.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your tiny living tips in the comments. My next tiny living piece will also be kitchen-focused. I’m thinking spices? Let me know!
KidloLand Educational App Review
February 15, 2016
In a recent godsend to parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics finally admitted that avoiding screen time completely is unrealistic. The AAP has provided new tips for parents regarding children and the media. What does this mean for you? Well, it means you can allow your kids to plan with educational apps guilt-free.
So, brace yourselves for KidloLand, an addictive and educational app for toddlers. I had the opportunity to try out the tech, and by that I mean my toddler has taken my iPhone for the foreseeable future.
KidloLand provides engaging, educational activities for kids. They’ve thought of parents, too, as the in-app settings are protected from being changed by the littles. I liked the fun colors, playful themes, and adorable songs. Overall, a great learning app for children.
There are a lot of free features, but the best parts of the app are accessed with a subscription.
Free features include:
- Nursery Rhymes
- ABC songs
Paid features include:
- Months of the Year
- Water Animals
- Animal Sounds
- Christmas Songs
- Additional Nursery Rhymes
I’m personally thankful to the KidloLand educational app for allowing me 10 minutes of sanity last night. I was able to make a pot of tea and read my emails uninterrupted. And, for moms with small children, you know how difficult “free time” is to come by.
The best part about the KidloLand app, though? It reinforces the learning time you have with your children. I treat the educational app as a supplement for my toddler’s learning. In the morning, we sing the ABCs, count, and review colors before breakfast. I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my son’s recollection and vocabulary since he began using an educational app in lieu of watching a video.
Here are a few more screenshots of the KidloLand app. Consider it a “sneak peek” 🙂 and share your educational app experiences in the comments. Happy parenting!
A Tiny HGTV Problem (Shh! It’s a secret!)
January 20, 2016
Confession: I am obsessed with HGTV. My favorite show at the moment is Fixer Upper. I kinda want to move to Waco, Texas and stalk Chip & Joanna Gaines until they become best friends with me & my husband. Weird? I think not! (Ok, ok, I know it’s totally weird!). Anyway, I also love Property Brothers, Love It or List It, House Hunters, Flip or Flop, etc. If you watch HGTV, you know the drill.
But, I have a tiny HGTV problem. You know what it is? Continue Reading
Should I Use StumbleUpon to Build Blog Traffic?
January 14, 2016
I recently purchased a book written by another blogger about how she grew her traffic tremendously in less than 9 months. I don’t want to throw this blogger under the bus, as I think her intentions were great and overall I feel like I got some value from her book. One of the strategies she suggested was to share your blog content on StumbleUpon. So, I took her advice, and here’s what happened.
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Blogging
January 12, 2016
I have always loved to write. If you ask my mom, she’ll tell you a story about how I wrote my own magazine at the age of 6. When I decided to start a blog, I was pumped. An online outlet where I could share my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and advice with the world? Sign me up! I thought blogging would come naturally. I didn’t realize there’s an entire behind the scenes business of blogging world. It wasn’t until my readership really gained traction that I started thinking about monetizing my blog. When I began researching ways to earn an income from blogging, I realized just how behind I was. Why didn’t anyone tell me this when I started my blog?! If you’re just starting out, or you’re a few years into blogging like me, I hope this list will help you focus your efforts into something readable and profitable.
1. Never Use an Image from Google
Or any other source that you don’t have explicit permission to use. I understand the temptation. You want the perfect photo to represent your blog post. But heed this advice and learn from other bloggers who have paid dearly for this misstep. There are a lot of places to get royalty free, creative commons images. I like Pixabay. Or you can pay for images on Canva for $1 a piece. Canva also lets you edit images and add text, similar to Picmonkey, which is mostly free, too (but a bargain at less than $5/month!)
2. Brand Yourself
Creating a strong identity for your blog is very important. Decide if you will be part of your blog’s brand. Either way, you need to brand your blog and anything associated with it. A reader should be able to see an image from your blog and know immediately that the content came from you. I designed my new logo on Picmonkey for free, and I’m still working on making my images consistent. However, I finally invested in Canva so I’m pretty proud of taking that step.
3. Have a List of Topics Handy
I love, love, love to write. When I started this blog, I never imagined a day where I would be stumped over an article. But those days happen. Often. If you’re feeling inspired one day, jot down all your ideas for future posts. Pull up the list whenever you lack fresh ideas. You’ll be glad you did!
4. Come Up with a Plan (and Goals)
One of my biggest blogging problems is that my blog lacks direction. I just dove into blogging. I never thought of what the future of my blog would look like, or where I wanted my blog to take me. I’m having to look into those questions now. I have the Inspired Bloggers University Blog Success Planner, now. It definitely got me thinking about my blog’s purpose and direction. I highly recommend it.
5. Pace Yourself
There are some days where I just want to write, write, write. I can churn out 5-8 posts in less than 24 hours and I want to hit publish on all of them. But, it’s best that you plan and pace your content on a regular basis. So, if you write a bunch of new posts, schedule them for the future…1x a week or as often as you feel comfortable posting regularly. You want your readers to be able to expect new content from you on a consistent basis.
6. Ditch the Get Rich Quick Idea
Are there some bloggers who go viral on their first post? Yes. Is that the norm? No. Most successful bloggers who are earning a viable income from their blog have put in years of work before they see true profits. Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Have an Opinion
I’ve written some really controversial parenting posts. There have been times when I’ve wondered if my opinion was really worth sharing, or if I should take a hot topic post down. Don’t be afraid to be different. Don’t be afraid to have a voice. Don’t be afraid to respond to mean comments. I’ve found you’ll have more support than opposition, and there’s really no point in hiding your true self from your readers.
8. Take Care of Your Tribe
Your blog readers will become some of the most important people in your life. I have friends who regularly comment on my blog posts, and I truly appreciate their support and feedback. My regular readers mean the world to me. I care about delivering quality content to their day.
9. Don’t Skimp on Research
Some posts have taken me less than an hour to write. But my most popular, most well-received posts are the ones I’ve taken days or weeks to research. Don’t sell your audience short; even if your blog is only read by 4 people, those 4 people deserve the best content you can possibly produce. Look for evidence. Find different opinions. Be objective. Dare to be great, and you’ll become the best.
10. Just Post It
I have second guessed myself so many times. I’ve finally reached the point in my life where I’ve started to just trust my instincts and be true to who I am. Don’t let negative people prevent you from being your authentic self online and in real life. Who cares what someone thinks about your blog? Unless they think your blog is great, their opinion shouldn’t matter to you. You can’t let your fear of other people’s opinions control the action you take. So, rip off the bandaid and just post your articles, already. The world is waiting for you!
If you have a blog, I’d love to read it! Share it in the comments below or email me 🙂 Happy writing!