Limited Time Offer! 4-Week Online Blogging Class {Includes Blog Set-up} – For Just $.99!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own money-making blog? You want to start – but you just don’t know how? Or, maybe you have a blog that would like to take to the next level and start earning an income from it?
Build Your Own Profitable Blog

Through April 6, 2015, Blogelina is offering a special deal for my readers who want to start a money-making blog. Enroll in their popular 4-week blogging class—Profitable Blogging for Beginners—for just $0.99!

If you want to learn the basics of how to set up a blog, how to take your blogging to the next level, or how to begin earning money from your blog, you’ll want to check out this class!

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When you sign up for this class, here’s what you’ll get:

  • A FREE Blog Set Up – Blogelina takes care of the techie side of the set-up so you don’t have to. All you have to do is just have to start blogging!
  • A FREE Year of Web Hosting
  • A 60-Page How-To Manual – packed with information that will help take the overwhelming out of starting your own blog
  • 4 weekly online class sessions where you can ask your questions and get personalized feedback
  • Blueprints, step-by-step tutorials, networking with other bloggers — everything you need to grow your blog.

This class will cover:

  • How to Get Your Blog Started on the Right Foot
  • Questions to ask as you begin blogging
  • How To Actually Set Up A Blog
  • Why Your Blog Design is So Important
  • 9 Different Ways to Easily Monetize Your Blog
  • How to Draw Visitors to Your Blog
  • and so much more!

Blogelina has been featured on the Dave Ramsey show, and is well-known for their ability to help bloggers make a successful start. Many of my readers here have gone through this course in the past and have great reviews to share with me.

And for $0.99? That’s a steal! But this offer is only valid until April 6, 2015!

Sign up for the Blogelina Build Your Own Profitable Blog class today!

*If you’re not 100% satisfied with your experience with Blogelina, you are free to walk away at any time during the class session! PLUS, you’ll get to keep your copy of the class manual and your free year of hosting – Blogelina will refund your money!

Build Your Own Profitable Blog

Note: This post was underwritten by Blogelina. Read our disclosure policy here.

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Make a Homemade “Latte” in Less Than 2 Minutes

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So, you know I quit using sugar in my coffee awhile back (I know, I know, I still can’t believe it!!) and I’ve been playing around with different hot drinks.

I love this Homemade Latte recipe, but I’ve learned that I just can’t do much espresso or I’m too wired. I already tend to be a person who has a lot of energy and zest for life, so I don’t really need the extra hype that I get from having more than a tiny bit of espresso.

Plus, you know that I’m all about keeping it simple. So dragging out multiple pieces of equipment and going through multiple steps to make a latte just ain’t happening every day around here.

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But I love lattes, I really do. So I came up with an easy-peasy solution.

My easy-peasy solution is probably called some fancy name and I just don’t know it and it has been shared all over the internet. However, since I didn’t see the idea on Pinterest (Yup, can you believe that it’s possible to come up with an idea without Pinterest?!?), just humor me and pretend it’s a new idea. ;)

My Homemade “Latte” Recipe

1. Heat 2-3 Tablespoons of half and half or milk in a glass cup in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds.

How to Make Homemade Latte

2. Use an electric frother (you can pick one of these up for just a few dollars from a place like IKEA or probably Walmart or Target. I got mine from Amazon, thanks to Swagbucks!) and froth the milk/cream for 15 to 20 seconds.

3. Pour the froth into a steaming cup of hot coffee. And ta-da! You have yourself a fancy looking”Latte” that is very low calories (it’s about 40-60 calories total if you use half and half), inexpensive, and doesn’t give you a caffeine headache or make you feel wired!

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Basically, this just requires one extra minute each morning to make and it feels like I’m drinking a super special coffee shop drink. :)

What’s your favorite coffee shop drink? Have you found a quick homemade version? If so, I’d love to have the recipe link or details so that maybe I can try it out, too!

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5 Things To Remember When Teaching Kids How To Save

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Guest post from Madison:

If I had to come up with a title for kids in general, using one simplistic term, I’d call them munchkins with a short attention span.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to teach lessons and even harder to get those lessons to stick. However, when it comes to the importance of saving money, there are no excuses to take on the teacher role.

Teaching kids to save will set a precedence for their entire financial future, so I’ve compiled a few things to remember when you start.

1. Object Lessons

Kids are visual learners, and concepts like saving money will come a lot easier if you demonstrate.

Give your kids an object lesson on patience. Whether it’s candy, ice cream, or a different treat, tell them that if they don’t eat it within a given time-frame, then they’ll get another one afterwards. It’s a simple yet effective way to teach them how to save.

The next step is to move on to money so they can understand and put the concept into practice.

2. Set the Example

Kids pick up on a lot more than you think. They are constantly learning by example, so why not set a good one?

Show them how you save money for big purchases and openly communicate with them what it takes to do so. If you’re constantly buying brand new, unnecessary things, they will think that’s the norm and grow to do it themselves.

3. Be Consistent

A lesson on saving money is only effective if you keep teaching days, weeks, and months afterwards. Don’t let it be a one time event. Consistently ask your kids if they’re saving their money and go over ideas on what they can save for.

4. Make It Fun

As a child, I thought saving money was hard and in all honesty, boring. I was constantly thinking about everything I couldn’t buy at that specific moment because my money was locked away in a piggy bank. (I’ve always been an impatient person!)

Make the process of saving fun by putting up a sticker chart in the office where the kids can have a little healthy competition with one another. You can even give them small prizes for each benchmark they hit.

5. Teach Them Rewards

The reward is sweet, but your kids will never realize it if they don’t make it to the end.

I once started saving up for a bike, but kept spending my quarters on candy and jewelry and lost sight of my goal. Instead of paying for a bike with my own saved money, my parents got me one for Christmas a year or two later.

Not to discredit Christmas or birthdays, but I would have learned a lot more about saving had my parents made me buy it myself.

Teaching your kids to save isn’t too hard when you put these ideas into practice. Before you know it, they’ll become money-saving moguls and who knows? Maybe they’ll save enough money to give you a nice retirement when you’re old. If that’s the case, let the teaching begin!

What are your best tips to teach kids to save?

Madison is a Community Relations Specialist at an accounting software company. She enjoys running, sewing, marketing, and fashion illustration.

photo source

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A Day In My Life: Flooded bathrooms, leaking ceilings, and entrepreneurial kids

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Yesterday started bright and early. I’d planned to get up, run, take a shower, and get dressed for the day first thing in the morning. But some unexpected things came up needing my immediate attention and that got pushed to the back burner.

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I finished those pressing things and my morning blogging and while Kaitlynn made eggs for breakfast and I started the laundry.

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Kathrynne had made a pan of Energy Bars this weekend, so she opted to have that for breakfast instead. She made a case for why it was a healthy way to start the day and the nutrition that was in this recipe and her case was so solid that I gave in and let her eat “dessert” for breakfast.

{Considering that I eat Chocolate Cake for breakfast sometimes, I can’t really protest too much!}

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While the kids finished breakfast, I cleaned up the messy kitchen (you can’t see it from this vantage point, but there were some pots and pans in the sink with crusted on food… just lovely! :)) and went over our plans for the day with the kids.

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Silas couldn’t WAIT to start in on his math. He’s been itching to do the Monarch Online School that the girls do, but since he’s still learning to read, it starts at a 3rd grade level, and he’s only 5, we’ve been holding him off. However, recently, we decided that it wouldn’t hurt to let him at least try the math, since that’s such a strong subject for him.

Well, what do you know? The kid is whizzing through the lessons — often doing 8 or 9 a day! And he’s getting an average of 90% to 95% on all of the lessons and quizzes — all with very little help from us!

He absolutely loves it and we just keep laughing at how much he surprises us with his math skills, especially since it’s not something we’ve worked on really hard, just something he’s learned by asking lots of questions from all of us.

We had guessed that he was probably at a 3rd grade level in math, but we didn’t really think he could actually do the 3rd grade computer school lessons without a lot of help from us. Clearly, he has proven us wrong! We’re curious to see how long this pace and enthusiasm keeps up!

Now, if he could just learn how to read well, he’d really be whizzing through lessons! :)

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These flowers on my kitchen table brightened up my morning! Such a fun and cheery color!

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While Silas was working on math and the girls were working on their Daily Lists, I tackled the fridge. Yup, it looks like it needed some help!

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When I actually dove in, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. About 10 minutes later, it was squeaky clean!Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 3.33.50 PM

I finished up the last of the dishes and wiped down the counter tops and smiled to see a clean kitchen. I love a clean kitchen. Even if the rest of the house is messy, having the kitchen clean makes me feel like half the house is clean!

While I was finishing up the kitchen, the girls came back down and we got engrossed in an in-depth conversation about business ideas they had and how to best launch them. I love seizing these everyday opportunities to teach and talk through real-life stuff, to weigh pros and cons, to ask them questions, to help them think through outcomes, and to inspire them to exercising their entrepreneurial muscles.

We came up with some new ideas today that I’m actually thinking they might carry out. We’ll see, but I love to see them thinking and pondering and asking questions with long-term goals and dreams in mind.

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As we were finishing up our conversation on business ideas, Jesse came home bringing this for me. Yes, folks, with much reluctance, I finally upgraded.

I have been due for a free upgrade for quite some time, but I always hold out as long as I possibly can. But because I’d been having some issues with my phone and because Jesse was really anxious to go ahead and upgrade, I finally bit the bullet and said, “Go for it!”

I feel like my new phone is some foreign object invading my life, but I’m sure I’ll get over it soon enough. :)

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Jesse also came home bringing the mail… which had some fun surprises for me — including my new She Reads Truth study pack and some goodies I bought for myself off of Amazon using my free gift cards from Swagbucks. I can’t wait to watch Habits Workshop with Jesse and try out the Sweet Blend that I’ve heard so many rave reviews of!

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These fun review products also showed up in the mail… look for some great giveaways coming soon! I love getting to offers giveaways for great (and useful!) products.

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After we went through the mail and got things put away, the girls told Jesse all about their new business ideas and then we sat down to finally have Morning Time. We’re going through this Holy Week devotional from our church this week.

By the way, have I mentioned how much we love our church?? We are so grateful for how intentional they are about encouraging families to spend time in God’s Word together and the practical helps they provide to us parents to help us teach the truths of Scripture to our kids.

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After Morning Time, I had planned to leave and head to the office space, but I still hadn’t had a chance to run and take my shower and I really had some pressing projects I needed to finish and I wanted to also take some time to read my Bible and journal.

So instead of leaving, I just made myself a cup of coffee and a snack and spent some time reading and journaling and then headed up to my room to knock out my afternoon blogging list while Jesse oversaw lunch, the rest of the Kid’s Daily Lists, and school work for the day.

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After Kathrynne was finished with her list and school, she spent some time working on her latest Lego machines. I’m hoping I can get her to put together some tutorials for me to share on the blog soon as I think some of you might have Lego-lovers in your house who would have fun making the Lego Candy machines and puzzle boxes that she creates.

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We got a box of clothes from Schoola with some new-to-us clothes for the kids for the warmer weather.

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I was quite impressed with how the pictures turned out!

Around 5:30 p.m., I finished up my blogging work and we all ate some of the delicious homemade Chicken Nuggets that Jesse made for dinner. And then I — finally! — headed to take a shower and get dressed since friends were coming over for Dessert Night (just keeping it real here!).

There was water in the tub from the kid’s baths much earlier in the day and when I went to pull the plug on that, instead of draining out like usual it backed up into our shower and flooded the shower and the bathroom floor!

As I realized what was happening, I quickly mopped up the water flooded out on the bathroom floor and hollered to Jesse to come figure out how to drain out the shower. He finally got it drained by using a snake down the drain. We hoped we had prevented anything from leaking through the ceiling by catching it quickly enough and mopping it up right away.

Once that crisis was diverted, I finished getting ready — just minutes before our friends arrived.

Shortly after they got to our house, we noticed the ceiling in the living room/kitchen bubbling up. And then it started dripping — right where we were all sitting!

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At first it was just a slow drip, but then it started dripping at a faster rate. Pretty soon, we had to get towels and buckets to catch the water. Jesse even stood on a chair and held one up on the ceiling for awhile to catch a lot of the water dripping down.

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I just stood there and smiled, laughed, and encouraged Jesse… because what else can you do when your ceiling is raining while you have company over and you’re not handy at all??! (Thanks to Tam Hodge for documenting some of the crazy of the evening in pictures for us!)

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Gratefully, there was a handy woman in our midst. For those of you who don’t know, Jenny Acuff not only helps Jon write amazing books, she’s also incredibly handy. She climbed up and ripped down the tape on the sheet rock to let the water drain out more quickly. :)

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We eventually got it to stop dripping and then went back to our chatting, laughing, and dessert-eating. :)

And now today, in addition to our A/C not working upstairs and our hot water tank going out (nothing like ice-cold showers to wake you up in the morning!), we need to figure out what this plumbing issue is.

The good news? This house has given us lots of opportunities to learn patience, flexibility, and adaptability. Plus, there’s rarely a dull moment around here or a few weeks that go by where we don’t have some kind of repairmen in our home working on some new problem. ;)

How was YOUR day yesterday? Tell us about it in the comments.

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When You Feel Like You’re Failing At Everything (6 Things to Do)

Ever have weeks when you feel like you’re failing at everything? Here’s hope and practical help!

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This past week felt like one fail after another.

I had some pressing deadlines, we’re in the midst of some fairly big business decisions, some things I poured a lot of effort into sort of just fell flat, our child who is usually obedient and cheerful was the exact opposite this week, and, ahem, there’s this thing called PMS rearing it’s ugly head.

So it was kind of the perfect storm this week. And I got sucked right into the vortex and let it bring me down.

I yelled at my kids (I know, I know — I need to read and heed my own advice there), I was irritated at my husband, I was short with some of my team members, and I did a lot of personal beating up of myself.

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In fact, one child brought me this oil and kindly suggested I try rubbing some of it on, as they said, “You could really use it.”

I think that was code for, “We’d really like a peaceful and calm mom instead of the grumpy, frustrated mom who has been hanging out at our house a lot this week.”

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As I thought back over last week and what I could learn from it, here are six things I’m working on implementing into my life to help me pull out of the “failure slump” and begin this next week with fresh resolve:

1. Ask Forgiveness

I am not and can not be a perfect mother. I will mess up and fail.

When that happens, I have a choice: I can beat myself up over my short-comings and sulk in shame over my inadequacies or I can ask forgiveness of my family and the Lord and ask God for His grace and enabling to have a quiet and loving spirit toward those closest to me.

These opportunities to humble myself and ask forgiveness can be powerful examples to my children — and something I hope they remember when they make mistakes and mess up.

2. Remember Your Blessings

It’s easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed by everything going on around us. Life is full of hard things, tough decisions, and difficult people.

Last week, I let outside stress impact my inner peace. Instead of choosing to focus on all of the amazing blessings in my life, I let a compilation of a lot of small things press in and frustrate me.

As I often say, “You can’t always change your circumstances, but you can always choose your attitude.” This coming week, I want to remind myself often to pay attention to the many blessings in my life and live my days in gratefulness for those.

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3. Get Some Fresh Perspective

Sometimes, you just need some fresh perspective on life. Whether that’s doing something to serve someone else, getting out of the house, doing something you’ve never done before, or taking a break from a project or situation that is causing you to feel anxious.

This weekend, I chose to “check out” of a lot of business stuff and move some self-imposed deadlines to later and instead spend a lot of extra time hanging out with my family, serving at church, spending time with friends, grocery shopping, and just soaking up some breathing room. It’s amazing what this little “vacation from the obligations” did for my soul.

4. Sleep!

I’ve become such a firm believer in getting enough sleep. It makes such a difference in just about every area of our lives.

If you’re feeling uptight or stressed or want to pull your hair out over a hard thing in your life, stop and do a sleep check. Have you been getting adequate sleep most nights this week? If not, do all you can to make it a priority over the next few days — even if it means you have to let some other things in your life slide.

When you are operating on a “full tank of sleep”, you are much more apt to feel calm and peaceful and cheerful — even in the middle of a lot of stressful situations. Sleep is something I’m going to make a high priority this week and I’m guessing that doing so will make a big difference for me.

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5. Be Honest About Your Struggles

Don’t try to pretend that you have it all together. When someone asks you how you are, if you’re not doing so well, be honest.

Let them know that it’s been a hard week, that you’re struggling with something, or that you’re feeling discouraged over something. Don’t carry all the weight of these burdens on your shoulders and then just answer “fine” or “good” when someone asks you how you’re doing. Authenticity and vulnerability breeds some of the deepest, most beautiful relationships.

When I posted about my mom fails on Instagram on Friday, I was amazed at how many moms were feeling the same way and how me just being open about it gave them a safe place to share their own struggles, too.

6. Remember That You’re Not Alone

No matter what you’re going through, know this: you’re not alone. You’re not the only one who is struggling or feeling like a failure.

You’re not the only one who has yelled at your kids this week, gotten somewhere incredibly late, looked in the mirror and felt discouraged by what you saw looking back at you, had an argument with your husband, wanted to just go disappear for a few hours and find this thing called peace and quiet, felt out of place, received devastating news… or whatever else it was that happened to you this week.

You aren’t alone. And that’s one reason I love this community here — and the overflow on Facebook and Instagram. It gives us a place to be honest and to share our heartaches and hurts and to hear that others are dealing with some of the same things, too.

Are you struggling right now, too? Tell us about it in the comments. We’re here for you and we’d love to listen, encourage, and pray for you.

And if you’re not struggling right now, maybe you could take a moment to share some words of encouragement in the comments for those here who are struggling? There’s no such thing as too much encouragement!

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My Monday Morning Plan + Today’s Deep-Cleaning Project

My Monday Morning Project

It’s Monday and guess what that means? That means it’s time for our weekly deep-cleaning project! Every Monday morning this year, I’ll be assigning us all a deep-cleaning project to tackle (well, that is, if want to join us!)

Today’s project is to deep clean your refrigerator. I’m headed to the grocery store later today and know our fridge could use some deep-cleaning before I put the new groceries in it.

Here’s my plan for this morning:

  • Bible reading/journaling
  • Blogging/Business work
  • Breakfast/Morning Time
  • School with Silas
  • Chores/quick house clean up, start a load of laundry
  • Clean out fridge
  • Get girls started on their independent work
  • Run/shower
  • Pick up my room/make bed
  • Ready to go — lunch made — head to work at our office space

This evening, I’ll share a post about how my morning well and give you an update (with pictures) on how my fridge-cleaning project went.

Need some motivation? Check out my post on 10 Ways to Make Cleaning More Fun.

Want to join me? Leave a comment to let us know you’re participating! If you have time, tell us what your morning plan is, too.

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