One Year Blogger-Versary $250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway!

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I can’t believe it, but this month marks an entire year of me blogging on a regular basis! To celebrate I have teamed up with Belle Bermudez-Tubel of One Awesome Mama who is also celebrating her one year blogger-versary, to bring you a spectacular $250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway! Stay tuned for more info on that at the end of the post!

$250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

I have always loved writing, telling stories, venting about life, love, and children…blogging has given me such an amazing outlet!

It has also been a freaking BIYATCH at times! Let me tell you, blogging is no picnic. There are ups, there are LOTS of downs, there are moments of triumph and feelings of complete failure. I have had days where I am so proud of myself for completing goals, getting published, having great feedback, etc.

And there have been plenty of other days, weeks even, where I have been so close to giving up, to throwing in the towel because putting in hours and hours of work each day for NOTHING was just too hard.$250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

Yet here, I am, a full year later, still plugging away, still finding enjoyment in posting tidbits and rants, advice and stories. While I am nowhere near where I had hoped to be at this point, I am seeing gains here and there, I am finding solace in increased publication and monetary opportunities. What more can I ask for?

That being said, here is a list of my top 3 posts for my first year blogging!

# 1 5 Things You Didn’t Expect About Morning Sickness

Pregnancy

#2 5 Pregnancy Side Effects to Fall in Love With

Pregnancy

#3 Be Less Of Jerk In 2017 With These 8 Resolutions

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Check them out and let me know what you think! Also, here is a list of posts that were picked up and published by larger online publications such as Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, and Sammiches & Pysch Meds…..Yeay!

20 Things I Do In A Day To Ruin My Kids’ Lives: Part 1

5 Things You Didn’t Expect About Morning Sickness

5 Pregnancy Side Effects to Fall in Love With

Genetics: It’s All My Fault

Sorry (NOT Sorry) I Missed Your Facebook Birthday

Grandparent Etiquette?

I’m Not F*$#ing Hormonal!

Which is your favorite?

Now, on to the fun part, the $250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway!

$250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

Look at all these amazing bloggers that I have been blessed to team up with! Thank you ladies!

Let the celebration begin! The giveaway will go live on July 27th at 12 AM EST and end on August 10 at 12AM EST so be sure to get your entries in on time! Good luck!

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$250 Nordstrom Gift Card Giveaway

 

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10 Best Social Media Growth Sites With Free Trials!

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What to grow your following on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for FREE!? This article gives you 10 social media growth sites with free trials, as well as  run down on the pro’s and cons for each!

Social media in all it’s forms, is an essential part of blogging and business. While these sites are easy to sign up for, getting a following and, thus, having your content seen by the maximum amount of people is the hard part.

It’s stinking BRUTAL actually, especially when you are just starting out!

I took it upon myself to try out a variety of sites and apps that claim to grow your social media accounts for you. What could be better than me having to do nothing to gain followers!?

I found that some sites made elaborate claims but couldn’t follow through, some sites were so overly complicated that they took more time than growing my following on my own would, and some sites were down right AMAZING!

Here are my top ten sites that helped to grow my social media. And the best part? They all offer FREE TRIAL periods! I never once paid to gain followers and that’s how I plan to keep it!

INSTAGRAM

Before giving you my favorite instagram growth sites, I want to introduce you to an amazing article on how to target your instagram followers, gaining you more followers and creating more engagement from the followers you already have! Check it out and let me know what you think! How to Target Your Instagram Followers with Facebook Ads: A Paint-By-The-Numbers Guide with Examples [Experts Only] definitely opened my eyes to possibilities for instagram growth and engagement that I had no idea were even out there!

GetRiver– (7 day free trial) This free trial is a pretty amazing one. I gained over 200 followers in a week, and considering that it took me 4 months to get to 400 followers that is quite the feat! The interaction on my photos also increased substantially, I went form a max of 40-50 likes to upwards of 700 on some photos! The only disadvantage is this only works as an app on your phone or tablet, and if you have a windows phone like me, you will have a much harder time using the apps many functions. Still totally worth it though.                                                                                                  Bottom line: This site is easy to use and has quick, inspiring results- SIGN UP NOW!

Influx Social– (7 day free trial)- I was immediately impressed by how great this site is at helping you navigate it’s many features and ways of singling out people to follow and photos to like. It also has a great feature for un-following people and another to keep certain people from being un-followed. Pretty handy! I started my trial with 667 followers and an average of 50 likes per photo, by the end of the first day I had gained 62 followers, however the software also followed almost 600 people for me in that day. Be sure to check your “follow” settings so the software won’t just follow 5000 people to gain you a few followers. I gained 200 followers over my 7 day trial.                           Bottom Line: Sign up today! It’s easy and totally worth it!

The Chrons– (3 day trial) – The Chrons is a totally different experience than most other sites as you have to apply to the trial and, once accepted (they accept everyone, they just do a little info gathering before activiating your trial) have no control over your trial whatsoever. You cannot log into their site, you can’t look at your growth or control how you are growing: nothing. This freaked me out initially, but I had fabulous success with them on Pinterest so I figured Instagram deserved a shot. I started out the trial with 867 followers and ended with 1,187…                                       Bottom line: Get going already!

Riotly Social -(6 days free)  I started this free trial with 1,696 followers and had been hovering around this number for awhile, only gaining around 10 followers a day. I signed up for Riotly Social, filled in the required fields and didn’t visit the site again for the entire trial period. On day 6 of my trial I had 1,986 followers! I gained almost 300 followers in a week! Best of all, unlike The Chrons, I didn’t find myself following a couple thousand extra instagrammers. Instead I found myself following about as many people as had followed me during these 6 days. THAT I can handle! Bottom line: Totally worth your time!

Target Grow (7 day free trial) – This site is easy to use and quickly allows you to target your audience with hashtags. Choose 3 hashtags that best fit your needs and leave the rest to them! (I started with 1986 followers). Unfortunately, even using the most searched hashtags in my niche, my instagram only grew by 22 followers during this trial….However, while I wasn’t WOWED by my growth, it was better than nothing!                                                                                                       Bottom Line- Might as well!

Twitter

Swift Social– (7 Day free trial)- While my current scale of growth didn’t really change that much during the free trial, I did see a large increase in engagement. The tweets this app sent out correctly matched the profile I set up and increased the amount of likes an RT’s on my account. I also LOVE the un-follow feature! Most sites require a payment to help you un-follow accounts that aren’t following you, this one is happy to show you how useful it is in this area. This helped me a TON.                                                                                                                                                               Bottom Line: Signing up just for the un-follow option is totally worth it.

Owl Lead – (15 day free trial) – This site is easy to use and follow your own goals. You simply choose the handle of another twitter user who has followers in your niche that you would like to gain. Enter this handle into a new campaign and the app helps you attract followers. For example a candy company like Nestle would enter the handle for Hershey. I started this trial with 3,057 followers and generally gain about 15-20 followers per day on my own. After 15 days OwlLead reported that it won me 208 followers. I gained 500 total followers during this time, so it almost doubled the followers I would have gained in two weeks. While these aren’t staggering results, they are better than any of the other twitter apps I have found.                                                              Bottom Line: GO! Go! Go!

Social Quant– (14 Day Free Trial) – Un-follow options! This is something that a lot of free trials don’t give you access to that I LOVE! I appreciated how easy it was to sign up for this trial and the CEO’s video tutorials were very helpful. I started off this 2 week trial with 4,570 followers. At the end of my trial Social Quant showed an 11% increase in followers with my follower total ending at 5,076. Getting above 5,000 followers has been my goal for months so I am so happy to have had the help! Bottom Line: Totally worth it

TweetFavy– (14 Day Free Trial) – This Website has changed to Social  Crumble but still offers the old TweetFavy for those looking for the older option. I went ahead and signed up for a 14 day trial with Social Crumble. What I like about this site is how easy it is to manage and understand. Some sites get a little too technical for my skill level! Social Crumble gives you easy ways to increase your following from their growth manager dashboard by suggesting other users in your niche to follow who are most likely to follow you back. Then they give you popular tweets to like and RT so that you easily share fresh content.  This site also has un-follow options, which I love, so that you can stop following those that don’t follow you back. A few other sites do this as well, but what I love about this site is that they tell you exactly how long ago you followed them so that you know if you followed them 9 minutes ago or two weeks ago. You may want to kick those 2 weekers to the curb but give those who you followed within the last few days a little more time to follow you back!  in just 4 Days this site was responsible for 87 followers in addition to what I usually gain on my own!  Bottom Line: Great, easy App and totally worth it to help find legitimate followers!

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The Chrons– (3 Day Free Trial) – I was initially a little wierded out by the application process for this site, you can’t just sign up, but have to apply and then be accepted to your free trial. After which you are given no access to the site in order to change settings. However, I gained over 600 followers on pinterest in 3 days! This is a super hard area of social media for me to grow so this was spectacular and totally worth it.                                                                                                                Bottom Line- Amazing growth!

Pin this image - "Top 10 Social Media Growth Sites With Free Trials!"

Are you guys ready for some free growth!? Let me know which sites you liked the best as well as if you have any sites that you would suggest I add to this list!

 

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Sorry (NOT Sorry) I Missed Your Facebook Birthday

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We’re all adults here aren’t we? Can we agree that, for the most part, that after age 21 our Birthday’s are a day we celebrate quietly with our closest friends and family?

Some of you are glaring at me already…I know who you are, I’ve seen your facebook page, i see your updates and pictures beginning with day one of your birthday MONTH. WTF does that mean?! I mean, I think it’s great that you were born, and you should pour yourself a hefty glass of something alcoholic for making it this far, but I think you love yourself a teensy tinsey bit too much if you celebrate all month! Even a week is too much….You get one day! ONE! You’re mother wasn’t in labor for a month was she? And if we are deciding the length of your celebration based on how long your mom worked to squeeze you out, we should really be celebrating her!

But I digress. If it’s your brithday, Happy freaking Birthday, but don’t expect a facebook post from me!

If we are close enough, or at least related enough, I will gladly contact you via phone -probably just a text cause let’s face it no one likes to talk anymore!- and bestow happy wishes for a wonderful birthday….If we are not that close but I still REALLY like you, I may post on your timeline just to let you know that I’m thinking of you…

Otherwise, I hope you have a great day, but I’m not part of it, and posting on your FB timeline isn’t going to change that!

I get at least 5 notifications a day for birthdays and, to be honest, most the time I don’t even really recognize anyone’s names! I hit DISMISS every single time….HAPPY BIRTHDAY…I don’t really care.

That may seem heartless and mean. But honestly, do you care if one more person posts on your timeline with the EXACT same message as everyone else? Will it make your birthday more special if someone you haven’t spoken to in years writes 13 letters with an exclamation point? Will you feel left out if someone whose posts you scroll by without notice doesn’t post these 13 letters on this particular day?

NO! And you you know why? Because we are freaking adults and this new trend of having everyone you don’t spend time with, talk to, or even think about, post on your FB on your big, fabulous day of birth, is just asinine.

“But, but, but it doesn’t take much time to impart your happy wishes!”

DON’T CARE. It takes SOME time and that’s enough. I either have to drag my butt to the computer and spend five minutes typing a birthday wish to the 8 people born on that day who won’t even notice my lame attempt amongst all the happy thoughts of people they actually care about OR I have to try out the crappy app on my equally crappy phone and spend even more time…

Time is precious my friends. Those five minutes could be the only quiet moments I get in a day…

So, sorry, but not really, that I won’t be acknowledging your birthday on FB…I’m sure you won’t even notice, and that is perfectly normal. For those of you that need 300+ birthday wishes from people you barely recognize and never speak with starting a month before your actual birthday even occurs….YOU HAVE PROBLEMS.

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Tidbits To Remember When My Children Are Grown

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Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, bad decisions and good, regrets and triumphs.  Looking back at my own childhood, I have so much sympathy for what my parents endured. While they were on a journey that took them down a different path than my own jaunt so far, I see many parallels between our lives, our adventures and misfortunes.

I also see many areas that I want to learn from. Not necessarily mistakes that they made, but small divergences from the path I want to remain on, that I hope not to repeat. These lessons are not just from observing my own family and experiences, but from friends and even strangers I have watched along the way.

Knowing how my mind works (meaning it doesn’t) I think it prudent to write down these lessons, these little tidbits of advice for my future self. Seeing as I can barely find the sunglasses on my head…

Remember Your Younger Self

Remember how hard childhood can be, how difficult it is to try and discover yourself and be your own person. Remember that you feared becoming your mother as a teenager….

Continue reading “Tidbits To Remember When My Children Are Grown”

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20 Things I Do In A Day To Ruin My Kids’ Lives: Part 1

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While my main goal is to get my children through each day without dying, I apparently am slowing killing their souls with my every action.

The amount of crying, whining, groaning, incessant wailing, and foot stomping indicates that I am constantly working towards their inevitable destruction.

In order to slowly ruin my children’s lives each day, I make them: Continue reading “20 Things I Do In A Day To Ruin My Kids’ Lives: Part 1”

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Workout Wednesday #16: 5 Best Leg Exercises For Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a wondrous and beautiful thing.

It is also full of unwanted, yet needed, weight gain. Gaining weight is big part of pregnancy that women dread. We all fear ending up with a flabby booty or discovering that we now have thunder thighs and cankles rather calves AND ankles.

While the weight gain is important for your growing baby, it can be rather stressful for the mom to be. One way to combat this anxiety is to work on firming up your body. It isn’t terribly safe to try to burn off fat while building a baby, however, toning and shaping your muscles is a great way to build confidence in yourself and keep your body strong and shapely.

Legs, especially the thighs, get hit particularly hard when women are pregnant as the hormone estrogen causing more weight gain in this area. However, there are 5, easy exercises that you can do to combat this issue. Continue reading “Workout Wednesday #16: 5 Best Leg Exercises For Pregnancy”

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Take the Boredom Out of Summer with Avid4 Adventure Camps!

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Summer is almost here! YIPPEE!

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to a break from the school grind as much, if not more than my kids! No more homework, no nagging about projects or paying attention in math….

There is one thing about summer I don’t look forward to, however. Five whiny little voices complaining that they are bored; “There’s nothing to do!” “It’s too hot to play outside” “There’s nothing fun to do!”

Ugh! This drives me nuts. I want my children to play outside, to be adventurous and learn from their environment. I want them to scrape their knees, climb trees, make friends, and BE CHILDREN for Pete’s sake!

The solution? Avid4 Adventure Camps throughout Colorado and California! You can sign up at www.avid4.com or call 800-977-9873 Now! If you need more convincing, read on to see what these amazing camps will do for your children!

This isn’t your average summer camp of crafts and lame field trips. These camps provide exciting experiences that will create lasting memories as well as bonding friendships and tons of stories to tell!  From hiking and biking to rafting and horseback riding, your kids will have the time of their lives!

Check out this amazing video about Avid4 Adventure Camps!

Aside from getting kids off the couch and away from their gaming consoles, these camps are also providing valuable life skills for children.

Trying new things, things that may have seemed a bit scary and out reach before camp, empowers children to continue to take risks in life, to break out of the mold and be whoever THEY want to be.  Trying new things inspires confidence and courage, giving children an inner strength that many seem to lack in today’s world.

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As a parent who was once a child lacking in confidence, the one thing I want to instill in my children is self assurance and pride in their accomplishments. Avid4 Adventures is the place for my child to bolster these skills or to start learning them if they haven’t already!

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With options for 1st-11th graders your child will find their niche and gain confidence in their abilities, physically and emotionally with these camps. Children can also choose to join a camp that explores multiple sports or focuses on one, they can choose to join an overnight camping team or participate with other children who return home each evening to boast of their amazing feats!

With locations for Colorado Day camps in Colorado Springs, Boulder, Golden, Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lafayette, and Castle Rock. Overnight camps in Bailey and Evergreen, and locations in California in Santa Cruz, Mill Valley, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Oakland, Campbell, Moraga and Walnut Creek your child will find the summer adventure of their lives!

Learn more today and sign up at www.avid4.com or call 800-977-9873

With so many adventures I was particularly impressed by the camps’ approach to safety and vigilance over the children they are entrusted with. I take my children’s safety seriously and they do too! Read their approach to safety HERE.

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Ten, 10 Minute Workouts To Jump Start Your Fitness

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There are some days where I just don’t have the time or energy to put in a 30 minute workout. Works, kids, traffic, errands, LIFE gets in the way of my workout time.

However, I find that my mood, my emotional wellness, and my physical energy levels are effected negatively if I skip my fitness routine. I need a little fitness to jump start my day.

Therefore, on those busy days where i just can’t seem to find time for a full workout, I have found that doing ten minutes here and ten minutes there, does the trick. The following 10 videos are 10 minute workouts that you can start and end your day with. Give your morning a jump start and finish of the day with a little pick me up! Continue reading “Ten, 10 Minute Workouts To Jump Start Your Fitness”

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