Categories
Travel

The Budget-Friendly, Less-Stress Way to Travel With Young Children

Some parents wait to travel with kids until they’re old enough to remember it, but our philosophy on family travel is why wait?! Parenting young children is a challenge anyway. That’s just part of the job description, and of course, traveling with little ones is no different. As long as you accept that it will be a challenge, the best way to proceed is with a plan, and our plan has two main priorities: lower stress and lower costs.

Shop at Kohls for Your Travel Needs

When your trip rolls around, one of the biggest points of stress for parents is what to pack. To make packing easier and more affordable, our best tip is to stock up on necessities from family-friendly stores like Kohl’s. You can use Kohl’s discount codes and coupons to save, which you can often find online.

We like the tip from The Points Guy for packing lots of the necessities that little ones go through fast, including diapers, wipes, and changes of clothes. This is one of those tips that combine saving money with lowering stress because let’s face it, you don’t want to be stuck on an airplane with a diaper blowout and no diapers insight. We also recommend packing new toys for the journey. Besides triple checking that you have your child’s favorite comfort item, use discounts and even go to dollar stores to buy a few new goodies. Toddlers and preschoolers respond incredibly well to fun surprises, which can stop a meltdown in its tracks.

Book and Stay for Less

While the little things you buy just for travel add up, your biggest expenses are airfare and accommodations. There are countless ways to save on airfare, especially if you have rewards points or flexibility picking a destination and/or when you travel.

We also love the tip from Today to search for family plane tickets in several different ways. For example, if two parents are traveling with two kids, try searching for four seats, and then search for two. You may find that the two seats together are priced lower than when you searched for all four. Another tip we love to save on both travel and accommodations is to travel overnight. You may not want to do this with big kids, but young children who can sleep just about anywhere may handle it just fine.

Cut Costs to Save for Travel

Our last tip is to save money year-round, not just on travel expenses. Travel & Leisure recommends that families shop in bulk for everything you use most. Another tried-and-true way to cut expenses is to find ways you can slash recurring bills. This may mean being more energy conscious at home, cutting the cord on cable, and calling credit card companies to ask for a better rate.

Along the same lines, many people assume that certain bills are fixed, when you may actually be eligible for discounts. One example is your auto insurance, which you definitely want to evaluate if you take many road trips. This doesn’t mean you should cut your coverage. In fact, all states have minimums for auto insurance requirements, but it’s best to have comprehensive coverage so you don’t have to worry about whether you’d be protected in any circumstance that comes your way.

However, many drivers can get discounts even on the best coverage, which is why it’s worth getting quotes from several companies before making any changes. For example, you may be able to bundle multiple insurance policies with the same company. Other factors like having anti-theft protection on your vehicle and having a safe driving record can also help you qualify for a discounted rate.

And of course, part of traveling with kids (and being a parent in general) means rolling with the punches. Having a plan will save you money and lower your stress level, but it’s just as important to accept that some things just won’t go according to plan. It all goes along with parenthood, and traveling with little ones is part of the ride!

Categories
Blogging

Mompreneurs: 5-Step Guide to Making Money from Your Home

In this day and age, being able to make money from the comfort of your own home is easier than ever. That being said, it’s even possible for the full-time stay-at-home moms to become successful businesswomen as well, without having to sacrifice the time with their kids to pursue a lucrative business career.

However, there are certain things you, as a mompreneur, will have to take care of and organize before you enter the business world. Of course, choosing the right career should be your number one step, but there are other considerations that will require your attention as well. With that in mind, here’s a 5-step guide that will help you organize your time well and start making money from the comfort of your own home.

Create a schedule and stick to it

The first step you need to take care of when considering starting a job from home is creating a work schedule. This will allow you to get into the right mindset necessary to concentrate on the job at hand, which will help you perform better and reach your goals easier. It is best to organize the majority of your work around the time your kids are napping during the day, because this way you will be able to concentrate on the job at hand, without being constantly distracted by your little ones.

Reduce distractions as much as possible

To directly tie into the previous point, you should also make sure you reduce any distractions as much as possible. This doesn’t only apply to the little ones, but to virtually anything else that might hinder your business efforts. First of all, make sure you pick a quiet corner for your home office, to avoid getting distracted by other house members, the TV, telephone or the outside noise. Furthermore, if possible, and especially if your kids are already big enough to take care of themselves, you should invest in quality noise-cancelling earphones. Finally, let everyone know that just because you’re working from home, that doesn’t mean they can interrupt you to ask what’s for dinner or where their clean socks are.

Know what you want to do

Next, make sure you research your job options. Browse the web and see what some of the most profitable home business ideas are and how you can become a part of one – or more – of them. The beauty of working from home as a mompreneur is that, if you have enough time, you can do multiple different businesses and significantly boost your personal finances. For instance, you can choose to review things online or join a casino affiliate program and earn your income that way. Basically, the job selection should boil down to what you want to do and what you’re good at to make things as easy on yourself as possible.

Don’t be shy to ask for help whenever you need it

Additionally, just because you’re a stay-at-home mom who decided to become a mompreneur as well, doesn’t mean that you should do everything on your own. You need to understand that it’s ok to ask for help and that you absolutely do not need to be able to do everything on your own, without anyone’s help. If you’re dealing with a particularly complicated project ask your partner (neighbour, family member…) to watch the kids for a couple of hours so that you can dedicate your attention to the business project. If you’ve spent more time working than you’ve anticipated and you didn’t have enough time to make dinner, simply call takeout – it’s that easy. Moms tend to obligated to be able to do everything on their own, and that’s simply not humanly possible – no matter how “super mom” you are.

Know why you’re doing what you’re doing

Finally, we can all feel a bit blue and under the weather from time to time which can easily get us off the tracks when business is concerned. You may sometimes find yourself feeling too overwhelmed and like you just want to quit it all. In such cases, it’s very important to remind yourself why you’ve decided to become a mompreneur in the first place – to boost your income, ensure a safer financial future for your family and provide your kids with an excellent example of how you can still work and focus on your career even once you become a mom. The last point becomes even more crucial if you have female children because the society spent way too much time virtually brainwashing girls that once they become moms, that’s all that they can be.

Therefore, if you’re considering becoming a mompreneur, don’t let anyone discourage you and bring you down. Yes, it definitely won’t be a piece of cake and it will require you to make some sacrifices, but the example you set for your kids and all the other benefits that are sure to follow will be more than worth it.

Thanks, Emma Sumner for these excellent ideas.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a passionate traveller and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 You can find Emma on twitter here.

Let me know what you think, You are welcome to comment below!

Categories
Misc

100 Best Mum Bloggers based in UK

I’m compiling a list of the top 100 mum bloggers/blogs based in the UK. The list will be ranked on the basis of Alexa rank. If you are a mum blogger based in the UK and want to add your blog to this list, comment it below. As this is a long list, it will be updated regularly so better bookmark this post if you want to follow the mum bloggers of the UK.

Rainy Day Mum

Cerys Parker had a plan for her life that completely changed. After three miscarriages and two difficult pregnancies, Cerys’ career as a teacher was no longer possible and a new life emerged, one that she embraced and has ultimately thrived in. Rainy Day Mum was borne out of a need to keep her young children entertained, but now it’s a repository of fun activities, days out and creative crafts, showing what family life can be like when it’s being lived to the max. Cerys provides a keen audience with a plethora of ideas, allowing everyone to get creative and enrich their lives as a family. Cerys’ story is truly inspirational and, thankfully, her blog is too.

Rank: 438,181

Mum In The Madhouse

Jen Walshaw writes Mum In The Madhouse, a parenting blog that’s also a mecca of creative crafts and child-friendly activities. With two boys of her own, 10 and 11, Jen is passionate about raising creative children while giving them skills that will last a lifetime. If you’re into apps and video games, then look away – Mum In The Madhouse is messy, artsy, creative and fun for both the children and the parents – and as her children grow up, the activities become more adventurous and Jen’s creativity seemingly knows no bounds. Jen also has a candid approach to discussing family life and covers a diverse range of parenting subjects from building and maintaining a family home to saving for your children’s future. To add to her number one spot in the ranking, Jen is a Vuelio Blog Awards winner, having bagged the Best Mum Blog in 2016!

Rank: 598,249

Mudpie Fridays

A brand new entry to the ranking, Mudpie Fridays shoots straight in to number five. Written by Clare, and featuring her two boys – Monkey and Kipper, Mudpie Fridays tracks a mum who aims to create a happy work/life balance. Though she feels this is being achieved with varying degrees of success, Clare’s blog is on the rise and her successes are plain to see to everyone. The blog covers child-friendly activities, product reviews and personal views, with Clare’s accessible and relatable style evident throughout. Clare has also managed to maintain a high level of comments on her posts, which is rare to see in today’s social media world. We’re thrilled Mudpie Fridays has made the ranking and can’t wait to see what Clare does next!

Rank: 1,249,497

Slummy Single Mummy

What can we say about Jo Middleton and Slummy Single Mummy that hasn’t been said already? Not only is Jo one of the most experienced and successful individuals in the UK’s blogosphere, but she’s also been at the forefront of the parent blogging scene since she first began in 2009. Slummy Single Mummy is a multi-award-winning blog (picking up both Best Mum Blog and Best UK Blog at the Vuelio Blog Awards 2015) that is a perfect mix of product/activity reviews and personal views and ‘rants’. Jo’s wit and charm shine through in every post, making her column-like content appealing to thousands of readers. A previous leader of this ranking, Jo’s blog is steadily evolving beyond parenting as her children grow up (in one case, becoming a blogger themselves!) and her content now reflects broader lifestyle topics (and increasingly her, admittedly adorable, cats). Hundreds of thousands of readers and dozens of brands know that Jo’s content remains special no matter what she’s covering, and it seems effortless for her to find ways to make her audience come back for more.

Rank: 1,257,009

A Mum Reviews

A Mum Reviews is the ultimate review site for parents of children of all ages, from pregnancy to those tricky teenage years. Written by Petra Robertson, the blogs covers babies, children, parenting, beauty, pampering, books, food, travel and family life in general. Mother of two young girls herself, Petra embraces her own experiences and happily gives tips from her wealth of personal knowledge. Petra embraces honest reviews, approaching each subject (whether it be product, day out or service) directly – providing all the essential information a reader may need, and also writing with the busy mum in mind; no review is longer than it needs to be. Petra has truly created the ultimate family review site!

Rank: 1,652,043

Boo Roo and Tigger Too

Boo Roo and Tigger Too is written by Boo – the mum in the family, Sarah Anguish. She covers family life with her children Roo, 10, the very active chatterbox and dancing queen; Tigger, 6, who is the fussy eater and lover of learning; and Piglet, 1, the wild child who rips things up with Thomas & Friends. Sarah started the blog (before Piglet was born) to track her journey through motherhood while juggling work, childcare, being a wife and having a life. It’s now grown to include honest reviews, fun family days out and everything else that comes from having a busy family life. Sarah has been a finalist at the Vuelio Blog Awards and has shot up this ranking, rising from a previous ninth spot. Jen better look out at number one, Boo Roo and Tigger Too shows no signs of stopping.

Rank: 1,673,356

Emmy’s Mummy – and Harry’s Too!

Emmy’s Mummy – and Harry’s Too! tracks the family life of Clare (Emmy’s Mummy), husband Paul, daughter Emmy, 8, son Harry, 5, and dog Barney. Clare has over 14 years’ experience as a nanny and, as such, has a unique perspective on parenting and dealing with a variety of child-related issues, from the fun stuff to the tricky challenges. Now focused on her own two children, and juggling parenthood with a work-at-home career of blogging, social media consultancy and freelance writing, Clare’s blog has grown into must-read for parents both new and old (ahem!). Posts cover a range of popular subjects from product reviews and days out to funny anecdotes and that invaluable advice that really sets Emmy’s Mummy – and Harry’s Too! apart.

Rank: 1,834,285

BritMums

It hardly needs an introduction – BritMums is one of the most well-known collectives of mummy bloggers in the UK, and has been a dominate force in the industry since its inception in 2008. Known as the UK’s ‘leading collective of lifestyle bloggers and digital influencers’, BritMums has over 8,000 social influencers covering more than 15,000 blogs. For bloggers, BritMums provides advice and support, promoting bloggers in the network and helping to monetize their creations. For brands, they connect the leading businesses with the best bloggers, allowing collaborations to flourish. BritMums was founded by Susanna Scott and Jennifer Howze, and the pair are now joined by a team who together provide life hacks, blog advice, posts about running a small business, and budgeting tips as well as classic parenting content like easy recipes and travel advice. BritMums is firmly established as a vital part of the UK’s parenting blogger scene.

Rank: 1,870,452

Toby and Roo

What’s remarkable about mummy blogs (and parenting blogs in general) is the ability for someone to come along and completely rock as both a mother and a blogger, shooting up the rankings and becoming one of the most well-known mummy bloggers in the UK. Enter Harriet Shearsmith. Harriet is a mother to three: two ‘crazy’ boys, Reuben and Tobias, and one ‘dictator’-like daughter, Edith. She writes about their adventures, activities and time together – always advocating the need for children to be children and finding time to encourage fun and frolics. Harriet is also a passionate feminist and oversharer, with passionate and revealing posts giving her audience a deep connection to both her and her subjects. After winning the Best Parenting Blog at the Vuelio Blog Awards 2017, Harriet is well on her way to parent-blogger superstardom.

Rank: 3,476,272

Sparkles & Stretchmarks

Another new entry to the ranking, Sparkles & Stretchmarks is written by Hayley McLean. The blog follows the adventures of Hayley and her three children: Tyne, five this month, Noah, three this month, and Sailor, two last month. Hayley writes about family life in all its glory, from the wonderful highs (three birthdays in two months!) to the less appealing lows. Sparkles & Stretchmarks is talking therapy for Hayley, who hopes to appeal to like-minded mummies of young children, fellow anxiety sufferers and busy women of today. The blog ultimately draws on Hayley’s personal experiences, and has used the blog to connect with other mothers that she is now able to share her journey of motherhood with. The blog covers everything to do with being a mum from product reviews to yummy recipes, all in Hayley’s refreshingly honest style.

Rank: 5,763,104

Twinkles and More

Jemma is a mum of three, Oscar and the twins, Henry and Heidi. She started the blog when got known that she is pregnant with twins. The blog was to record memories of her life with the two at first but later the focus changed. The blog become a roller coaster ride of her parenting, travel and adventure with her family. She loves travelling and been passionate about exploring the world and that’s why you will find a specific category for blog posts about Europe and trips. She reviews different beauty products, and yes restaurants too! But most of the time you would find her blogs about her travel.

Rank: 5,763,104

Categories
Misc

Google Docs for Writers

Google Docs for Writers:

Google Docs is a dream come true for writers. Yeah! Google Docs is making writers happy, making things simple and life easier ( user-friendly UI/UX). Google Docs is a great alternative to the old word processor, Microsoft Word. Available on Windows (through web browser) and standalone apps on Android and iOS.

This is a long in-depth article about Google Docs so grab some snacks and scroll down as you read 🙂 and yes, this post will be updated as new features are added or removed, so keep it bookmarked!

Google Docs is Free & Cross-Platform

Google Docs is free! you don’t need to buy or download and install any special software for it. No compatibility issues, no errors and no installation. It works online in Web browsers. Although it works on every browser but it’s best when used on Google’s own Google Chrome. And you will know that later.

Yes, it also has mobile apps available for Android and iOS.

Write Live So Everyone Can Watch

Google Docs’ live writing and viewing is a great feature for collaborators. Now your readers can watch you write live. They can ask about things you write or share their ideas or you can ask about from them. This feature also makes it easy for your fans to watch you write live and give them a sneak peek into the composition.

Google Docs is an Autosaver

Google Docs is an autosaver! You don’t need to press control + s all the time. Every time you start writing, it will constantly save anything you write (unless you are offline). And if you use Google Drive offline, It will still work and all saves will be saved on your computer. As soon you get back online, Google drive will sync and so do the Google Docs in it. For working offline, you need to install the Chrome extension if you’re working in Chrome, and to tick the option to “download and keep in sync” when working in the app.

It has another great feature of reverting back to an earlier version. Google saves all your sessions in different versions with a time and date stamp. The versions can also be named so if you come back and you know the name, you can easily revert back to it.

You can also make a copy of the versions which will be saved on Google Drive.

Work Distraction-Free

Google Docs can also be made distraction-free. No extra options and menus or scroll bars. Just go to view menu in the menu bar and select Full Screen. If you like, you can set the zoom level to ‘Fit’ which will make the document fit to the window size.

You can also get rid of the Google Chrome’s address bar and tabs. Simply press F11 to enter Full-Screen Mode and if you want to exit the Full-screen mode of Google Chrome, simply press the Esc button!

Export in Many Formats

Google Docs exports in several formats including Microsoft Word, OpenDocument, RichText, PDF document, PlainText, HTML formats and EPUB also now.

For printing or for selling your stories or books online, PDF is the best option you will go for. Createspace uses the same format if you are publishing your ebook on demand.

For Kindle, download your document as a docx file and then export as a MOBI file. For iBooks, Kobo and Nook, you can export to EPUB like the above.

So I guess that’s all for now. If I missed a Google Docs feature, be sure to TWEET ME about it!

And don’t forget that i will update this post often as I get to know new features. So may be Bookmarking is the best option :).

Categories
Misc

6 legit tips to develop reading habit

“With a book, you’re never alone” – Bisila Bokoko

Every year, most people set goals for themselves to read a certain number of books. But, just like most New Year resolutions, they become like every other unaccomplished word.

There are numerous benefits of reading good books. They can make your mind think deeper, teach you more about your field, sharpen your skills, curb your anxieties and generally just help you grow to the next level. Whatever your field or interests might be, it’s very important to create a consistent pattern and habit to read beyond your horizons.

If reading is a habit you’ll like to cultivate, there are some practical ways to approach it, especially if you always find yourself drifting from your reading goals.

However, it’s important to first have a deep willingness to read and grow in the process. Approach reading as a fun, enjoyable and transformational activity that ultimately impacts your life. With this kind of mindset, you’ll become intentional about the books you read by picking out those areas in your life that need improvement and plan towards growing to the next level by reading the right books that targets those problem areas.

“To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” — W. Somerset Maugham

Here are tips to help you cultivate a better and consistent reading habit:

1. Set Your Goals for Reading

One of the first thing you have to do in order to develop a reading habit is to set goals. Goals which are practical and have a purpose.

Without purpose, Goals are left behind in midway. So start off by brainstorming how books can help you in different aspects of life – academics, career, relationships, business, spiritual and more. Once the purpose is clear and you have concrete reasons for your goals. You will be able to move forward and stay motivated.

Now you have a purpose, you can define goals. And your goal is to start reading and catch a habit of reading. So start off by targeting some numbers, may it be 10 or 12 or 24 books in a year. And these numbers will differ from person to person depending on various factors. So let’s assume you start with 12 books a year. Divide them into smaller targets, 1 book a month.

And I think 1 book in a month is practical and almost anyone can achieve this goal. So be on it and start with books that are enjoyable and not so boring for you to read.

2. A Book’s list for each month

Once reading goals are set for a year, you will need a books’ list now to follow up. Write down all the names of the books that are not so boring, you will enjoy reading and that you want to read. You can get help from friends and colleagues for recommendations.

It is good to have all the books that you want to read or that you have read, written down in a notepad, or dairy or maybe you can create a spreadsheet for them to be saved. So that you know which books are you going to read next and which books you have already read.

This reading list will help you stayed organised and focused on your goals. You can keep things a little more enhanced if you also include start and finish dates, lessons and important key notes.

to help you easily tick off once you’re done with each book. Note that, reading these books doesn’t mean discarding them afterwards. A list and log with notes about your thoughts will encourage you to look through them months later, just in case you need some inspiration at some point.

3. Read at Least 10-20 Pages a Day

If you’re looking to create a consistent reading pattern, then setting out a particular number of pages per day would work perfectly. Consider setting aside at least 10-20 pages per day to read, especially if you have a busy schedule. This process will help you stay focused as you look forward to accomplishing your daily goal of a specific number of pages. Focus leads to efficiency and soon enough, reading will become a lifestyle for you.

Be very proactive when you read. Don’t rush through, but instead take out time to understand and engage in the reading process. This way, you’ll be open to learn and be able to transfer that knowledge to others when opportunity comes.

4. Invest in Tools that Encourage Reading

When it comes to efficiency, it’s important to invest in the right tools that will set the pace for a better reading pattern. For those that love hard copy books, consider setting aside a good reading environment with appropriate table and chairs to help you stay focused. That way, you will gradually get accustomed to that space and look forward to your reading time.

For most people today, mobile apps, tablets, news aggregators, ebook readers, and other online tools actually work wonders. Because the world is digital, most people prefer having their handy mobile appliances that would help them stay on top of their goals. Figure out what tools work best for you and invest in them.

5. Set Reading Times and Days

Set aside specific times everyday to read your assigned book for the week/month and any other articles you may have bookmarked. Put away distractions such as turning off the TV and other things that may hinder your reading time. Ready for at least 30-40 minutes a day is a great start and would help you develop a concrete reading habit as you’ll always look forward to having your ‘me time’ that supports your reading goals.

You could also have a reading day to help you stay dedicated or catch up on other days you might have fallen back on your goals.

6. Get a Reading Partner or Book Club

Goals need to be backed up by accountability in order to help put a check and encourage you during times you don’t feel motivated. Get a reading partner who has a heart and willingness to read, and create a plan to help you achieve your reading goals.

With a book club, you’ll create a concrete strategy that constantly keeps you motivated and inspired to grow beyond your comfort zone. Such gatherings give you an opportunity to discuss lessons you learnt and other thoughts.

Don’t be a solo ranger and think you can achieve all your goals alone, no matter how small they are. You’ll need the right people to help you stay focused and encouraged towards not just your reading goals, but general life goals.

To develop a reading culture, you must first analyze your current reading habits. Do you read at all? Do you start off and stop at some point? Do you plan your reading or just read randomly? In order to truly achieve your reading goals and build a consistent reading habit, you’ll need to set up simple systems, use the right reading tools, find accountability partners, and generally be hungry to grow beyond your comfort zone.

Categories
Resources

15 Keyboard Shortcuts Making Lives Easy

Most expert computer users know the basic keyboard shortcuts, like pressing Control (Ctrl) + P on a PC to print a document. But did you know there are plenty of other useful—not to mention pretty darn cool—key combinations out there? From instantly zooming in to a larger view to quickly closing your browser window, these shortcuts will put the World Wide Web and more at your fingertips—because every second counts.

1. ADD A BOOKMARK

Tab your new favorite website for easy access by bookmarking the page with the following quick trick.

PC: Ctrl + D

Mac: Apple key (see right) + D

2. DELETE FOREVER

When you know you want to nix a file forever—instead of sending it to clog up the recycling bin first––tap the keys below.

PC: Shift + Delete

3. CLOSE BROWSER

Whether your boss walks up while you’re reading gossip blogs or your husband comes in the room while you’re buying him a gift, close your browser, stat, with this shortcut.

PC: Alt + F4

Mac: Ctrl + Q

4. SHOW DESKTOP

If you have lots of windows open on your computer and you want quick access to your desktop—or a super-quick way to hide your work—hit the following keys.

PC: Window key (see right) + D

Mac: F11

5 . FIND FILES OR FOLDERS

Forget painstakingly searching all of your folders to find one file. The shortcut below will do the searching for you.

PC: Window key + F

Mac: Apple key (see right) + F

6. CHANGE ZOOM LEVEL

Whether you’re working on the Web or in a word processing program, zoom in or out with this command.

PC: Ctrl + scroll mouse wheel

Mac: Apple key + plus sign; Apple key + minus sign

7. REOPEN PREVIOUS TAB IN BROWSER

Have you ever accidentally closed the browser tab you were looking at and had to spend time backtracking to find it again? The shortcut below will restore that page to you almost instantly.

PC: Ctrl + Shift + T

Mac: Apple key + Z

8. SWITCH BETWEEN OPEN PROGRAMS

Navigating between open screens can get confusing. Make it easy to move among all your programs with this quick trick.

PC: Alt + Tab

Mac: Apple key + Tab

9. TAKE A SCREEN SHOT

Capture an image of what you’re working on instantly with a screen grab—it’s particularly useful for Web pages you can’t copy and paste.

PC: Print Screen (then paste [Ctrl + V] into a Word document)

Mac: Apple key + Shift + 3

10. REFRESH A WEBPAGE

Whether you’re waiting for a new email to arrive or the latest news story to pop up, easily refresh your screen using the keys below.

PC: F5, or Ctrl + R

Mac: Apple key + R

11. GO TO A PREVIOUS LOCATION IN BROWSER

Time travel with the neat shortcut below, which lets you quickly go back to the webpage you were looking at before your current one.

PC: Alt + ←

Mac: Apple key + [

12. SPELLING/GRAMMAR CHECK

No more excuses: Perfect spelling and grammar is just one keystroke away.

PC or Mac: F7

13. ADD “HTTP://WWW” TO YOUR BROWSER’S ADDRESS BAR

The quickest route to your online destination? Just type in the name of the webpage you’d like to go to (for example, type “Google”), then press the following keys to add the “http://www.” to the beginning and “.com” to the end.

PC: Ctrl + Enter

Mac: Apple key + Enter

14. SELECT THE ADDRESS BAR

When you want to quickly type a new URL into your browser, the shortcut below will easily select the address bar for you, so you can start typing without moving your mouse.

PC: Ctrl + L, or F6

Mac: Apple key + L

15. LAUNCH THE WINDOWS START MENU

Just tap the keys below for an easy way to view your Start Menu options.

PC: Window key, or Ctrl + Esc

Categories
Blogging

Twitter for MomBloggers: The Ultimate MomBloggers Guide For Using Twitter

Welcome to Twitter for Mom Bloggers! If you’re new to Twitter, looking to get started or just here to brush up on some of the fundamentals of the site, you’re in the right place. In this guide, I’ll tell you how to use Twitter, how to Increase Your Twitter Followers and how can it help you personally and business wise. Also read these 10 Reasons why Mom Bloggers should start Tweeting.

But First, the basics:

What is Twitter and What is Twitter all about?

It’s a free social networking micro-blogging platform wherein users tweet (share their thoughts, images, videos and everything else), in 140 characters of text or less. Usually, Profiles on Twitter are public — anyone in the world can see what you write unless you make your profile private like in Instagram. Users “follow” each other in order to see what they are sharing or talking about.

Following people on Twitter is not necessarily an application for friendship or relationship, but just interaction and conversation — at least in short bursts.

Before I take you deep into the Twitter world, there are certain terminologies or jargon of which some are specifically used on Twitter. You might have heard some of them.

Twitter Terminology

These terms and their abbreviations (in parentheses) are essential for understanding the network.

Tweet: A 140-character message.

Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or giving credit to someone else’s tweet.

Feed: The stream of tweets you see on your homepage. It’s comprised of updates from users you follow.

Handle: Your username (like mine is @aMumBlogger).

Mention (@): A way to reference another user by his username in a tweet (e.g. @aMumBlogger). Users are notified when @mentioned. It’s a way to conduct discussions with other users in a public realm.

Direct Message (DM): A private, 140-character message between two people. You can decide whether to accept a Direct Message from any Twitter user or only from users, you are following.

You may only DM a user who follows you.

Hashtag (#): A way to denote a topic of conversation or participate in a larger linked discussion (e.g. #mombloggers, #bbloggers). A hashtag is a discovery tool that allows others to find your tweets, based on topics. You can also click on a hashtag to see all the tweets that mention it in real time — even from people you don’t follow.

Twitter has a great online glossary that you can refer back to.

Alright! That was the end of the scholarly part. Let’s discuss practical things that will help you.

Twitter is not like Facebook or Linkedin or Pinterest. Instead, it’s much easier to use Twitter. There are no friendships or relationships on Twitter, Neither requests or applications to interact or converse with someone. However, There is Following and UnFollowing on Twitter, which is much easier and you don’t have to worry about the implications of adding or removing people you follow.

So, don’t hesitate to Follow people on Twitter. Limiting the You Follow to a few can limit the Follow You. Moreover, if you want to stand out and be found by the people you want to be followed by, Start Following them first so that they can find you.

Now the fun part, we are all waiting for;

How to Increase Your Twitter Followers

There are many strategies to increase your Twitter Followers base. I will share some of the tips.

  • Follow as many people as you can. (It’s more likely to follow like-minded people as they usually follow you back). At first, Twitter limits the people you can follow to 2,000.
  • The more you follow, and they follow back, the more the limit extends. It’s kind of the ratio thing. The ratio of people you follow (following) to people who follow you (followers). Now that you understand, take the leap and start following as many people as you can to hit the limit. You can start from me.
  • Don’t overthink it. You aren’t making a lifetime deal with them. And don’t take too long on whether to follow someone or not. Just Follow. Later on, you will be unfollowing them.
  • All of them will not Follow you back so after a few days (as everyone is not that active on Twitter) start unfollowing people to make room to follow new people.

Following the Right people on Twitter

I know it doesn’t make any sense to follow over a thousand people randomly. I guess we were talking about increasing your Twitter followers. Yes?

But following random people solely will not solve the problem. Yes, it would increase the numbers though but we need the right kind of people who can really benefit from us and vice versa.

Who are the right kind of people that we are talking about? Well, I would use the word “like-minded”. Those who are like us, sharing the same interest as we do. Because if you are going to make a successful blog where you want to build an audience base who are really interested in what you write and what you buy. You need those people who think and act like you. You are going to earn money (commission) by selling products (affiliate marketing) to them.

So now, when you know why you need to follow the right people, where/how do you find them?

Finding the right people on Twitter

It’s easier than you thought. Have you ever noticed the followers of any account? Look at them followers of your target companies, businesses or people. If not all, many of them are the right people following their interest.

For example, check out MAC Cosmetics’ Twitter account. You will see that almost all of them are women. And surely they all will be using or are interested in buying MAC’s products. Like I am a big fan of their Charlotte Olympia Lipstick.

Likewise, Find such Twitter accounts whose followers are your target audience. Make a list of those accounts and save them. I heard many people name the list “copy followers” because you are going to copy the followers of that account.

And then start following the Followers of that account. You cannot follow them all at once, so do it regularly over time.

They will follow you back if you are of interest to them. Let’s Say you are a makeup company. There are chances they MAC Cosmetics’ followers may also follow you back.

That’s it! Start following and following and following until you grow.

Note: While following, you will hit the limit many times, the solution is to unfollow those people who are not following you back. And you can check this in the “Followers” tab in your Twitter account.

Categories
Health & Fitness

Simple Ways to Make Your Life Happier & Easier

I want to live a happy, healthy and peaceful life. Everyone wants to live life like this. But not everyone does live it like this. Why? Because they have made it difficult for themselves. They have set their priorities to things which are not important than living healthier and happier.

I am here to share with you many ways which would make your life happier and easier.

Simple Ways to Make Your Life Happier & Easier

Healthy lifestyle. One thing that influences the life more than anything else is a healthy lifestyle. Manage your time according to the need. Overdoing anything negatively affects your healthy lifestyle.

Be Social. Talking with someone who understands you, cares about your and support you will make your life happier.

Be Optimistic. Start thinking about good things that will happen to you. Let go your fear and worries. Don’t get into bad discussions, or listen to bad news, It will only make you more depressed.

Help others. We are humans and we have feelings for others as for ourselves. Helping others will make you feel happier. You will feel the actual feeling of being a human.

Be Active. For a happy and healthy life, mental and physical health is important. Start walking or jogging daily even if it is for only a few minutes. start from 10 minutes walks and progress gradually. This will improve not only you physically but mentally as well.

Home. We live half of our life at home. Making it a heaven on earth can make your life more happier. Some of the things that you can do is love your family, play with them, spend your time with them, understand them, go for outings with your them.

Outing. Tours and picnics are a great way to release stress and enjoy the nature. Spend some time out with your family or friends and have fun. Most of the time, when our schedule is tough and repeating, we get bored and lazy in our life. Going outdoors is the best way to get fresh and active again.

Categories
Blogging

How to Start A Blog & Make Money

I’m so happy that you finally decided to start a blog. Thank you for being here. I’m asked quite frequently about how to start a blog. So, In this post, I’ll try my best to explain things in really simple steps. As I’ve experienced, I don’t want you to face the difficulties in starting a blog.

In this guide, I share everything I’ve learned along the way in my blogging career. Especially those who have no previous experience and want step-by-step instructions.

Why you should start a blog?

There are many reasons you might consider it. Here are a few popular ones:

  • Earn Money while working from the privacy of home
  • Become a better writer
  • Make more friends
  • Discover what you can do
  • Share your thoughts or opinions

See how beneficial it is to blog? Let’s start and build your blog.

The 5 basic steps to start a blog

These are the main sections we’ll cover. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you right through.

  1. What to blog about
  2. Choose a blogging platform
  3. Find a host and pick a domain name
  4. Install WordPress
  5. Customise, Design & Post your blog!

Step 1: What to blog about

We start a blog to promote our business, company or organization (product(s) or service(s) or a cause) or We start a blog to share our experience, views & thoughts, opinions or reviews or maybe for fun.

Blogging for the later one, i.e. a Personal blog is more flexible. As you have a vast variety of topics to blog about. You can blog about something you enjoy, you know better about, you want to share YOUR experience about that topic or anything. You can blog about food & drink, fashion & beauty, technology & business, health & fitness, education & career. The topics are endless, whatever suits you is the best bet to go with.

The important thing to consider is, that you stick to a not too broad niche/topic. So, to establish yourself as an authority in that niche.

Step 2: Choose a blogging platform

There are many blogging platforms you can use to start a blog. There are free and paid services. The free services are limited or in other words you don’t own them, they can be shut down anytime. The paid-for services are not limited, you have the freedom to do anything with them. And they aren’t too much expensive.

What I and many other bloggers or mum bloggers use is WordPress. It’s by far, the most popular blogging platform (source).

Why I use WordPres? Because it’s more flexible, has more features and easy-to-add functionality, It’s easy-to-use and has a large community of people who share tools and ideas.

There are two versions of WordPress, the Hosted, and Self-Hosted. In short, the hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.com blogs.” and the Self-hosted WordPress blogs are often referred to as “WordPress.org blogs.” (recommended)

In this guide, we will be using the self-hosted WordPress blog.

Step 3: Find a web hosting and pick a domain name

A web hosting company provides server space for your blog. In other words, this allows others to find your site on the internet around the world.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are referral links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. Don’t worry, I am using the same web hosting, so you can trust me.

Let’s Start a Blog! Click here to go to iPage (this link will open in a new window so you can reference these instructions as you work).

Once the page opens, click the pink Sign Up Now button.

By the way, the images you see here may vary slightly from the ones you see on your screen. This is because iPage never stops making site improvements. You might even catch them on a sale! Don’t worry, the general process is the same.

Pick a Domain name

A domain name is the web address of a website which we search by typing it in the address bar. For example, amumblogger.com is my domain.

On this screen, you will choose a domain.

Select the Register a new domain if you don’t have a domain, enter a new domain name in the box. (See tips for choosing a domain below). And Click Check Availability button.

Tips for choosing a domain name:
  • Choose an easy to remember and easy to share domain name!
  • Choose a .com if possible. Up to 75% of all websites are “.com” domains.
  • Make it easy to type, say and spell.
  • Make it brandable like. Your domain name will be your brand. Some names speak for themselves. When you hear the name, you know what the website is about.
  • Don’t make it too long and complex.
  • Avoid hyphens, numbers, obscure terms or confusing strings of words.
  • If you’re not sure what to use, go with your name.

Once your domain is available, you will be redirected to another page.

Select your plan and fill in details

On the screen below, you will have to enter your contact information, payment information and purchase information (which is basically selecting your plan).

Purchase information: Choose your plan wisely. I would suggest going with one that suits your budget. You can upgrade at any time later on.

It’s better to have Domain Privacy checked. It keeps your contact information private so no one can send you spam. I highly recommend domain privacy.

Website Essentials: Leave the rest unselected. You will know when you need them but not now. Skip them all and click the Checkout button.

That’s it! You have successfully bought your domain and hosting!

Now a little more information to provide about your blog. You can skip this step if you don’t like. But there is no harm if you fill in the information. Click Submit then.

Now on this screen, Skip all of these Recommended for you things and click No Thanks!

Woohoo! You have completed the domain and hosting setup. Click the Log in now.

Before You Begin… On this page, you have to set a password. So, enter your password, Select the security question and enter your answer. Mention me in the referral box and check the agree to terms of service. Click Save & Continue.

Step 5: Install WordPress

Now let’s install WordPress. Click the WordPress icon in the Website section.

and click Install now.

Now click select the domain you purchased to start with. Leave the directory empty and click Check Domain.

It will check the domain.

And you will see a progress bar now at the top. Wait a little more.

and you are done. Congratulations! you have installed WordPress.

Yay!!! That’s it. You are done with domain and hosting.

Step 6: Customize & Design your blog!

Now let’s make your blog pretty! WordPress uses themes to change the visual design of your blogs. And themes determine many of the visual aspects of a blog like the colours and fonts, navigations and social menus, headers and footers and so on.

But if you are not a web designer or coding girl, and don’t know much about the technicalities. Choose the Genesis Framework which is used for building themes. So, to make your blog design pretty, choose any theme from StudioPress, Pretty Darn Cute Designs, Feast Design Co, Restored 316 Designs. They all offer beautiful and lovely themes.

Check out Lindsey Riel’s themes at Pretty Darn Cute Designs, They all are as feminine, lovely and beautiful as she is. Same are the Feast Design Co and Restored 316 Designs, feminine, minimal and pretty.

Please let me know which theme you buy. I am curious about your choice.

What Next?

That’s how to start a blog! It’s easy to start a blog, the learning process goes on. You will learn a lot with the passage of time. All you need is dedication and patience.

Now the fun part, start posting!

If you ever have any questions about the technical side of setting up a blog, I’m here to help you. You can ask in the comments section or you can contact me.

If this post helped you, Please consider sharing it with others who might appreciate it as well!

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures

Categories
Food & Drink

The Top 5 Best Kitchen Knives

Being a woman, I love kitchenware. And what I and everyone else use mostly in a kitchen is a knife. Almost everything needs to be cut down. There are many kinds of knives for different cutting purposes. Here are my choice of the top 5 best kitchen knives. And these are not set rather you have to buy these separately.

1. Wüsth of Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife

Do you love cooking? I love cooking at home. I switched from Henckel Pro-S knives to Wusthof Classic knives a year ago, and have no regret on my decision. While all the steel in Solingnen comes from the same production facility and is the basis for Henckel, Wusthof, and Messermeister knives, the major difference is in the blade and handle design. Henckels’ handles feel quite uncomfortable if you use them for too long as compared to Wusthofs handles. They are far more comfortable and are handier. They have a balanced weight, you won’t feel unbalanced.

The polypropylene handles have a drawback and that is, they crack after a year or so. Maybe because of heat and stress or dropping.

In short, these knives rock and beat out the competition by a long shot. If you are a housewife or cook at home, and slicing and chopping onions, cutting up carrots, and neatly creating thin ribbons of basil, The high-end Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife should be your first choice to buy.

Buy Now Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife


2. J.A. Henckels International Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

This mid-valued line of Henckel knives, called “Classic” by the company, is also a full-tang, single-piece, three-bolt line with durable dark plastic handles. The handles are scored toward the end to keep the hand from slipping off during use. Despite the fact that they are not very sharp right from the bundle, their blades are sharp enough for the normal cook. As indicated by Henckel, all blades in this line are dishwasher safe, however, you might find quick dulling under the harsh conditions.

The chef’s knife is perfectly weighted toward the blade for efficient chopping, especially if you use the chef’s technique of lifting the base of the blade but not the tip. It’s a great knife for butchering a chicken, cutting thin slices of tomato, or finely mincing parsley. As it stays sharp for a long time, you won’t need to sharpen it as often as other knives.

Buy Now J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife


3. Miyabi Morimoto 600S Edition 9-Inch Chef’s Knife

The Miyabi Morimoto 600 S Edition may not help you cook like an Iron Chef, but it just might help you cut like one. With its thin, light blade, this knife really shone at cutting meat, slicing steak effortlessly. The blade is also razor sharp which helped it power through anything in its path, and it stayed sharp after extended use. It has a full-tang, which means that the blade extends through the handle, providing excellent control. You may need to buy this knife as a supplement to a cutlery set, however; with its fine edge, it’s not the right knife for cutting hard foods like carrots or chicken bones. If you’re a fan of Iron Chef, you’ll love this excellent celebrity kitchen knife.

Buy Now Miyabi Morimoto Edition 9-Inch Chef


4. Cat Cora by Starfrit 8-Inch Chef Knife

The Cat Cora by Starfrit 8-Inch Chef Knife is befitting of an Iron Chef, offering excellent performance at a good price. With its curved German steel blade, this knife rocks easily, making it great for finely mincing garlic or parsley or slicing thin veggies. The handle is attached with rivets and, while it is one of only a few made from solid walnut rather than wood composite or plastic, it does have a slightly rough surface. It also has a full-tang, which means that the blade extends through the handle, providing excellent control. The blade stayed impressively sharp throughout testing, even after completing a months’ worth of cutting tasks. It’s our top pick if you’re looking for a budget celebrity chef’s knife.

Buy Now CAT CORA by Starfrit 8-Inch Slicer Knife


5. Chicago Cutlery Fusion 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 8-Inch Chef’s Knife is a great value, mid-range knife. It’s inexpensive as compared to its other competitors. It has a sharp and hefty blade, you can easily slice tomatoes, butchering chickens or chopping onions. To be honest, I love it’s handle, not because of the rubber wrapped around it but the overall shape of the handle. It kinda fits in my hand. It has a good grip and the tang extends through the handle, which allows a good control.

Buy Now Chicago Cutlery Fusion 8-Inch Slicer, Sheath Packaging