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SSS September 2017 Card Kit – Birthday Card

I made a video showing how I created this birthday card from the September 2017 card kit from Simon Says Stamp.  I am entering this card in the following card challenges.

SSS Wednesday Challenge

 

Here is the link to the video.
https://youtu.be/UQu-uC1mqOk 

I also made some other cards using this kit.  Below are the photos.

For this card I used the rainbow stamp and stamped it so it formed a circle.  I colored it using sharpies.  I found the fine stamped image easiest to color with fine tip points.  I used copic markers to color the card above and it was challenging to stay in the lines! I stamped the candles, sentiments and other images with memento die ink.  I used a versa mark ink pad and stamped over the double rainbow image and applied clear embossing powder several times to make the image have some dimension and shine.  I cut out that circle and then used to die circles to create the yellow frame around the rainbow.  I finished off the card with some sequins.

The next card I made was inspired by a video I saw from Kristina Werner.  I used glossy accents on the heart rainbow image which is directly stamped on my panel.

The last card was the inspiration for the card I made the video on.  It has just a slightly different version of the above card.

 

Blog and New Years Resolution Update

If you have been following my blog you will know that I started this blog as a New Year’s resolution.  You can read the first post about it here if you are interested. My two main goals were to stay current with technology and to do something creative everyday.

Here is what I have learned about this process four months in.  First of all, blogging is hard work.  It is extremely time-consuming.  I have a whole new appreciation for You Tube videographers and bloggers!  So if you are going to blog you need to make sure it is something you are really passionate about because it can soon become work and the creativity part of it becomes a very small portion of the process.  I was not sure when I started this if I would be able to come up with enough ideas for projects and things to write about.  I find that the more I do it I have ideas that pop into my head all the time and the problem is there is not enough time to do them!  So that is the good news.

The time has gone by really fast.  The steep learning curve has slowed down with the technology part of it, although I still have a lot to learn.  When I reached out to my network for help, I  learned that my network of folks is at about the same skill level as I was before I started this blog. I had not done much with social media except for some race posts on Facebook here and there. So when I reached out for help on how to use different media it was hard to find help! I guess in a small way that makes me feel good – I wasn’t too far behind my peers. You can learn a lot by googling and watching You Tube but it is a time-consuming process because you have to look at a lot of stuff before you find exactly what you are looking for. I tried a free course on Coursera for social media but did not find it all that helpful.

I am primarily using my blog which is in WordPress .org, You Tube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. At this point I can not see much value in Twitter nor my Facebook Pages for business account. Perhaps I am using them wrong. My blog platform is able to set up to post automatically to Facebook Pages and Twitter. It randomly selects pictures from the post which often are poor choices for a post which is very annoying and I know there must be a way to override it but have not got around to figuring that one out yet.

I started my Instagram account in February when I decided to participate in a 30 day coloring challenge. I find Instagram to be a fun way to interact and you are soon able to connect with people with like interests, you get a lot of feedback and love from the Instagram community.  I find using my phone and the app – PicsArt to be a very efficient way to use Instagram and now have that process down to just a couple of minutes once my project is ready to meet the world! I think I can still do a better job at using SEO words and continue to work on that.

I only have eight subscribers to my blog but find the traffic starting to pick up a little. In my research about blogging you will read that they tell you to stick with a very specific subject that readers will then be able to identify. I find this a bit hard to believe but perhaps it is true of very successful blogs. I have been experimenting with posts and find I get the most traffic when I post pictures that are food related or pictures of us. I spent hours working on a project and creating a video and get very few views. now granted the first 10 I created were very technology challenged! But what I see is it takes time being out there for social media to discover. The longer my videos are out there the more views I am getting.  So my idea that views would be instant doesn’t work until you get a large following.  However, I do see progress it is just slow but steady.

I created a post called #nancys_girls and now I get 5 – 10 random chinese posts everyday I have to delete.  I think it is either a computer or some weird thought that it might contain porn.  I think I am going to have to delete it as this is getting old!

I have written before about the fact that I don’t or didn’t write much in my daily life so this blogging has been good for me to practice writing again.  Sometimes  I sit down to write a post and just stare.  Many times it is because I am tired but often I just kind of freeze cuz I don’t know where to start.  Thus is another positive benefit for me from blogging.

I follow a food blog called Pinch of Yum.  They have been around for many years and have many, many followers. They tell you it takes years and lots of good consistent content to get sufficient subscribers to create an income stream.  They publish their earnings and traffic report every month which partially inspired me to try to monetize this blog as part of my experimentation process.  Pinch of Yum reports that they are earning around $40k plus a month.  They are currently recruiting for their first full-time employee. Pretty impressive. You can find information about them here.

There are several ways you can earn commissions.  The first way is called affiliate marketing.  With affiliate marketing you post links to products that affiliates carry and if someone reading your blog clicks on that link and purchase something you can earn a small commission. This is a very time-consuming process to gather all the links, make sure they work and post into each link into your posts.  (Very painful!) There are plugins you can purchase for a monthly fee to help you organize this but at this point I can not justify another monthly expense. I could also use an editor, but that expense isn’t happening now either.

The other way is thru ad marketing on You Tube.  You know those annoying ads you get when you play a video.  There is a complicated formula involving views, subscribers, watch time and liked videos.  I don’t fully understand it so can’t explain it to you.  I turned on the monetizing part of You Tube a month ago and it seems to add a little quicker than the affiliate marketing.  However, creating videos for me, at least is a very laborious process.  It was taking 5-6 hours to create a not so good quality video when I started.  I understand how to use IMovie better now so I have been able to cut the time down but it can be very frustrating and the quality – light and sound are still inconsistent – and I don’t know why.  (This is on my list of things to figure out.) I also need a better quality microphone to do my voice overs.

I am following Pinch of Yum’s lead and here are my numbers thus far:

You Tube Earnings                          $0.67

Affiliate Commissions                     $2.67

Total Earnings:                                $ 3.34

Expenses:

Blue Hosting (blog host annual)  $ 99.00

Solo Pine Word Press Theme       $47.00

iCloud Storage($1/month)            $ 4.00

Consulting fees for help               $150.00

Video supplies to be

able to make tutorials                     $210.00

Supplies for projects                        $378.00

Total Expenses:                                 $888.00

This does not include any of my hundreds of hours of time spent working on the blog and projects.  So you can see I have a long ways to go to breaking even!

But I am still enjoying doing this, it serves me as a journal and starting to get a data base of my recipes on here so I can find things with this organization.  So that is time well spent.  I want to get back to spending more time creating.  With the weather getting nice,  I want to be outside so the demands on my time and interests are spread even thinner.

Would love to hear some feedback on what you like about this blog!  My gym friends tell me they like the food prep and nutrition posts.

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Lifestyle: Weekend Food Prep


I did my weekend food prepping over a couple of days this weekend.  I took some pictures and I will walk you thru what I did. I usually cook my dinner protein source the night I am eating it.  I can usually manage this till about Wednesday.  Then I go to my freezer for quick options.

When I food prep I don’t usually place everything in individual containers.   I am cooking for two and I am usually able to come home from work at lunch time and then I just heat up whatever I am going to eat.  I have mentioned in other posts that I have learned to eliminate rules about what types of foods are eaten when.  I go to the gym early in the morning and come back and need something quick before going to work.   So this week I will have these options that I have prepared from greek yogurt

IMG_1617

Overnight oats with blueberries and strawberries

Overnight oats with berries

For each serving I added 1/3 cups oats, 1 tsp maca boost, some stevia and 1 tsp of chia seeds.  I mixed this together with some almond milk and then added two heaping TBSP of yogurt to the jar and more almond milk until I was happy with the consistency.  Then I added 1/4 cup blueberries and a couple cut up strawberries.  These are in pint size mason jars and will go into the fridge until ready to eat.

 

Protein pudding

In the container of remaining yogurt I added, 1 tsp maca boost

Protein Pudding1 scoop of Vega Protein and greens and mixed with almond

milk until I was happy with the consistency.  I sprinkled Caca nips on top.

 

 

 

For other protein sources this week I have in the freezer:

Turkey Sausage

Chicken Meatballs

Beef Taco Meat

Flank Steak cooked in a black pepper sauce

Salmon

Tofu 

I made my snacks and a batch of turkey sausage and some flank steak on a stick on Saturday.  You can find the recipe for the turkey here. I package the turkey sausage and steak, freeze it and then reheat when I want to eat it.  I will use 4 -5 ounces of protein and pair it with vegetables for a meal.

IMG_1591 IMG_1593Ready for the freezer……..

These are the chicken meatballs.    I will get this recipe loaded on the blog so check back for it.

Chicken meatballsFor veggies I made several salad packs.  I chop up all the veggies and then place what I want in the salad in  baggies,  add the dressing to a small container and place the crunchy items in a snack bag.  Everything goes in the bag and I have no excuses.  When I am ready to eat just toss everything in a bowl!

Salad prepping - good stuff

Salad bags

 

I put the bag of kale salad in the food processor and chopped up so I had two servings from the bag, chopping it up finely allows me to eat more but not have to chew forever.  In the Kale salad bags I added some more shredded carrots, chopped pears, 1 Tbsp pomegranate nuggets, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts and 1 Tbsp of champagne vinaigrette.  I made a salad of mixed greens, carrots, radishes,  tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, a wedge of laughing cow cheese, pumpkin seeds, and raspberry wine vinaigrette dressing. The last two salads were butter leaf lettuce with carrots, radishes, tomatoes, onions, green olives, and I made a red wine vinaigrette.

I also roasted some veggies.  I have been on a sweet potato, butternut squash, onion and garlic kick for the last few weeks.  We ate at Johnny’s this Saturday night and they served a veggie meddle with broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and garlic.  So I duplicated for this week but added some zucchini, squash, green beans and carrots.  I will  serve reheated with ghee and/or some balsamic vinegar. I am also going to prepare a stir fry using some sesame, ginger baked tofu.  When I prepare I will post a pic!

I placed everything in a bag and added a little butternut squash oil, salt and pepper and then roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes.

I placed everything in a bag and added a little butternut squash oil, salt and pepper and then roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes.

I prepared lots of snack bars this week.  They go into the freezer and will last a couple of weeks. I made Body Building cookies (2 batches) and Nancy’s bars (2 batches)

You can find the recipe for the body building cookies here.  I will get the Nancy’s bars recipe up soon on the blog so check back!

IMG_1596

Body Building Cookies

Nancy's Bars

Nancy’s Bars

 

 

 

I have also bagged 1 cup servings of watermelon in little bags and carrots, celery and peas with 2 Tbsp of humus for snacks.

Meal prepping can be a lot of work but once you do this you are pretty much done for the week other than reheating or putting some salmon in the oven for a few minutes.  So sweet!

I would love to hear what you meal prepped this week!  Leave me a comment and if you like my blog please subscribe!  Talk with you soon and have a great week eating food for fuel!
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