Budget Travel Ideas to Help Your Money Take You Further! #travel

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It’s the holiday season. While many stay home and celebrate with their families, this is also one of the busiest tourism seasons of the year. Traveling during this time of year will also gobble up your budget much quicker than traveling during other times of the year. I’m here to share a few tips and tricks to help you stretch your money a little bit further.

I am no expert. However, I have travelled quite a bit, even though I am by no means a wealthy woman. So I wanted to share with you my version of budget friendly travel. I promise, you won’t regret it!

  • Take a road/rail trip instead. Air travel is expensive, and it limits you (schedule, location). Take or rent an auto or take a train pass (Euro rail for non-Eu citizens is a great incentive!). You have the freedom to go wherever the wind carries you and you can always find your way back home! Not to mention, the scenery is magnificent!

sleeping in the car

*Ok, so sometimes you get to spend the night like this…but totally worth it if you get to see this ->!

Bavaria

*Am I right, or am I right?!

  • Make sure you have a good quality bag that you can easily carry with you. Please, take it from someone who has been there: When you find yourself in a situation where you are walking to your sleeping place, there is nothing worse than rolling a overstuffed cumbersome suitcase along a cobblestone road. Be practical! You don’t need much. Put it in a small overnighter that’s easy to carry. You’ll thank me later!
  • Always have water and some snacks with you. Even if its just a small water bottle and a couple protein bars – having these on hand will keep the hangry at bay so you can enjoy your day!
  • Consider Hostels. Oh, I know – the mere thought makes your skin crawl. But believe it or not, hostels can actually be really amazing! (Yes, some of them are…blech.) Many luxury hotels will lease out 1 floor of suites as hostels (Amsterdam), just to ensure that the hotel stays booked. Some places that don’t normally lease out at all will make their rooms available as hostels off-season (see the marble encased University dorm in Poland which leased out their rooms during the summer months.!) Also, Andorra has an incredible log-cabin luxury hotel which rents out some of their unbelievable suites as hostel rooms -at a hostel price!
  • Go with the flow! Allowing yourself to get stressed-out or overly adhered to your perceived schedule. Firstly, things will NEVER go according to plan. Secondly, you will happen upon the most memorable experiences when you least expect it. So, be open to change…welcome it!
    *Suffering a royal hangover, we walked around and discovered the Wielicki salt mines, a Unesco World Heritage site and thought ‘why not?’. It was a great day spent there and I will never forget what an incredible place it was!
  • Ask around where the locals go, and go there. You will find some of the most amazing food places, and even better – great prices! Also, leave your diet at home. It’s no fun traveling with someone who’s on some kooky weight loss regime where they can eat only raw meat, kale and walnuts – or whatever the latest fad is. Let loose and enjoy!

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*Fish & Chips at Beshoff Bros

donuts

*The donuts in Dublin were the size of my face! I think you know we had to sample some of these beauties! 😉 (Nom nom nom!)

  • Make sure you are insured. Travel insurance isn’t tremendously expensive. But you will thank me for it if you fall ill!
  • Take the time to enjoy a local Brew. In some places, you will find yourself in an unbelievable setting. In others, you will realize that a local beer costs less than a canned soda! (Poland, I’m talking to you!)

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  • Be reasonable with your tourism. 5 star restaurant? I wouldn’t. Oldest Pub in the country? Yes, definitely!

Brazen-Head_ Irelands_Oldest_pub

  • Refrain from the souvenir hunt. I’ve watched people jump from store to store looking for junk and it just isn’t worth it. My policy is to purchase myself 1 item only, so I try to make it really special. A small something for family is ok too. But its a huge waste of money searching for cheap crap. I mean really, it’s most likely not even made in the country you’re visiting anyway!
  • Spend the day at museums! Many museums, including Natural history, are free in the EU. When we were in Ireland, we spent an entire day visiting museums and it cost us: ZERO! A great way to be a tourist on the cheap!

natural history.JPG

  • Check out the free attractions in the area you are visiting. Most places have a tourism office/website. They will usually list any public events/festivals/showings that are happening for free. Why not go out and do something fun? Public art/book/food festivals are great fun and you can’t beat the price!

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  • If you are really saving hard for a trip – especially a road trip – and every cent counts, try this tactic: Take 1 small envelope for every day that you plan to be away from home (including leaving and returning days). So, 14 days = 14 envelopes. Divide your funds evenly across each envelope and it will help you to see whether or not you actually have enough for the trip. The most affordable hostel I’ve ever stayed in was 20€ per night. Do some internet research, but make sure to leave some wiggle room, because sometimes they are full and you just have to manage other sleeping arrangements. Factor in food (market bought, or eating out), gasoline/train tickets, entrance fees to attractions (easily found online) and emergency coffee stops. You won’t need as much as you may think you do, if you just budget well. Good luck!

I hope that you have enjoyed this post as much as I’ve enjoyed making it!

-Mliae

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Two Types of Affiliate Marketing: An Avenue to Earn Money Blogging Around the World

Hi there 🙂

Today, I want to talk about something I know most of us are wondering about. That something is an avenue for income in the blogging world.

Now, if you are in the U.S.A., your options are basically unlimited. There are too many platforms to mention that cater specifically to the American market. For the rest of us lone bloggers looking for the odd sponsor or affiliate, things get much more complicated. In my 3 years of blogging, I have discovered that it is very difficult to find companies that want to work with someone in a random part of the world. Most want to corner the American market. For those platforms which occasionally have a desire for the European market, it seems to be either France or the UK which they are focused on. I understand entirely, the marketing aspect of this. However it can be quite stress-inducing for a blogger not located in the USA, UK or France to find platforms which would fit their demographic. Anyway. I have found several platforms with which affiliate marketing is possible for all of us everywhere, and I have found a couple platforms which are looking for bloggers all over the world for specific posts. This is what I wanted to share. I know that I have spent many hours of frustration that could have easily been avoided if I had found a post like mine.

So here goes:

For example shareasale.com  is a great site if you are looking to connect with a variety of companies that are looking for affiliates worldwide. This is strictly affiliate marketing. Share A Sale offers competitive commissions and unlimited access to apply with their companies.

Another great platform, which is relatively new is Get Blogged. This platform allows you to apply for multiple individual paid placement opportunities. It seems that Get Blogged mainly has opportunities in the UK, however there are placement opportunities globally, you just have to keep an eye out for them.

Hope this helps!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Guest Post by Sleephelp.org : Boost Your Productivity at Work by Napping

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It’s mid-afternoon, and your eyelids are starting to droop, but you’ve still got a good three hours before the end of your workday. As much as you want to give your employer 100 percent for a full eight hours, mental and physical fatigue can get in the way. But, there’s a simple solution that’s been used to help humans get through a long day for centuries – a nap. A growing body of research suggests that naps aren’t just for children.
Nap for Alertness
Whether you work the day, swing, or night shift a quick nap can help you stay more alert while on the job. A study conductedamong air traffic controllers on the night shift found that a nap mid-shift let to quicker reaction times, better alertness, and fewer signs of sleepiness. While participants didn’t enter the most restorative stage of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, they still reaped benefits from a nap.
Nap for Improved Memory and Creativity
Naps not only keep you more alert, but they can also enhance your ability to learn and think creatively. A team of researchers explored the relationship between sleep and memory consolidation, which is essential for learning. Participants answered a series of questions first thing in the morning and then again later in the day. Those participants who did not have a nap showed a predictable deterioration in their answers. Participants who napped used information from the previous test to answer more creatively, with greater accuracy, and increased mental flexibility in their thinking. It was estimated that anywhere from 40 to 73 percent of the performance increases resulted from the memory enhancing effects of sleep.
Nap for Better Health
Naps also have a secondary effect that goes beyond work performance. Sleep deprivation, which is anytime you get less than seven hours of sleep, causes hormonal changes that lead to an increase in appetite, depressed immune system, and slowed mental acuity. But guess what? A 30-minute nap can counteract or even reverse some of the hormone changes caused by sleep deprivation. Nobody likes to get sick, but if you’re looking to convince your boss that a 30-minute nap is a great idea, you can use the evidence of fewer sick days due to better health.
Tips for Better Sleep at Night
Improving your productivity is important, but better sleep has an impact on more than just your professional life. It stabilizesmoods, metabolism, and helps your body heal and recover from stress and injury. While a nap is a quick solution when you’re running behind on sleep, the best thing you can do for yourself long term is to get better sleep at night.
Good sleep starts with a high-quality mattress. If your mattress has lumps and valleys, you wake up achy, or you’ve had it for over nine years, it’s probably time for a new one. Check your local store or online for mattress discounts or sales to save money, but make sure the mattress supports your sleep style and weight. A sleep trial may give you insight into how well a mattress suits your needs.
You can also enhance your sleep by:
  • Maintaining a regular sleep schedule on weekdays and weekends
  • Developing a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down from the day
  • Turning off screens and electronic devices two to three hours before bed
  • Stopping the consumption caffeine early in the afternoon
  • Keeping your naps under 60 minutes to prevent sleep problems at night
You don’t need to feel guilty about napping. In fact, if anyone asks, you can tell them you’re giving your creative juices a boost.
Have a nice nap! –

A Few Words About the ‘Haul’ Trend

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Aaaahhh, the haul trend. This has been going on for too long now.

Sephora Haul, Topshop Haul, H&M Haul…. We’ve all heard it, seen it, thought about it. But I have to ask. I mean…WHY? Some of these hauls are the size of my entire working wardrobe. Now, I understand only if you have found yourself in a larger size and have nothing but pajama’s to wear to the market – then by all means, go get what you need to get through the week! Or perhaps, if you go shopping once a year. But if you already have a fully functioning wardrobe; why go buy more cheap fast fashion to toss in and then complain about 8 months from now that its taking up too much room, you don’t wear it & now are embarking on a minimalism challenge. I just don’t get it.

A little while ago, on our way back from Dublin, my seat mate handed me her fashion magazine if I wanted to read it. I think this was a British edition – which made my shocked face all the more obvious when I happened upon an article citing ‘Maximalist fashion’. REALLY?! WTF is that about? In a world where people are trying to make conscious purchasing decisions. When I have to walk the market from the far back up (I studied marketing, I know that the layout is quite purposeful to fill your cart with all things un-necessary) so I run the gauntlet backwards in order to avoid impulse buys as much as possible. Where we are bombarded with marketing 24/7. Is it really so that the next big movement is to have as much as possible hanging in our closets, crowding our vanities, piled in our homes – as opposed to the nice, tidy, thoughtful – possibly even being considerate of the other people/animals/ecosystems involved in creating our easily accessible belongings – that we are currently doing so well trying to adapt and making mainstream?

I think that my biggest issue with the ‘haul’ trend is that soooo many influencers seem to be doing it. Bloggers, Instagrammers and Youtubers are called ‘influencers’ for a reason. With that comes social responsibility. And I, personally, think that we should use our stations to try and encourage thoughtful consumption, not mindless consumption. But then again, that’s just me.

What do you think?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Avoiding Impulse Buys: Why You Should Practice Shopping

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Sound weird, right? It is. But, it WORKS! Please, just hear me out.

The reason I am suggesting that you expose yourself to the environment you are trying to control is simply that of experience and numbness. Please, allow me to explain.

You see, I’ve been doing a somewhat twisted version of the minimalist challenge. Currently, this challenge extends only to my wardrobe. Many months ago, I cleared out a large majority of my wardrobe. I donated almost everything that doesn’t currently fit (Classic pieces and a few faves remain, because although fashions do change, some pieces never go out of style and are too expensive to replace). I also gifted to friends or donated every piece of clothing that wasn’t made out of my preferred fabrics. Believe it to not, there were too many items in that category. I only wear 100% natural fabrics. I hate man-made fabrics. Not only do they look cheap, but they make me sweat. And that is never a good look. This massive overhaul left me with many empty hangars. Too many for my taste.

I don’t bore of my favourite pieces quickly – most of my wardrobe has been with me for at least 5 years. But, I do bore! Finding myself with 3 pair of pants that fit and none that I really love made me crazy. And what do we do when frumpy stares back at us from the mirror? We SHOP. And that’s exactly what I did.

First, I started stopping in to some of my favorites stores. But then I realized, that I can’t really find items in the fabrics I prefer. True, finding the odd blouse or sweater isn’t that difficult to achieve. But, pants? A dress? Borderline impossible!

Then I hit a few of my favourite online stores. I found what I was looking for with only a major investment of my time. However, I am on a budget. A very tight budget. So although my wishlist is bulging at the seams with a few items that might work, my cart remained empty. I had to wait. I had to eliminate. I couldn’t purchase an item until I was certain that it would work. And then I found….the flash sale site. This was one of the biggest mistakes ….EVER! 48 hours to purchase and then its gone. But if someone else got to it first… gone forever. The clincher is that you have 20 mins to purchase or they empty your cart. Now, from a marketing standpoint, this is pure genius. From a consumer standpoint, it SUCKS! At first, the urge to ‘buy now!’ was too much to bear. Even for this person who is in possession of her facilities and more than fully aware of the marketing scheme behind the sites. I spent hours saving my items in the cart while trying to decide if the purchase was well and truly worth spending my hard earned and even harder saved money.

I made a couple purchases. A silk blouse from SET and pair of snow pants that fit. Both of these purchases will be with me for as long as they last.

I did learn something from these experiences though and its that the items that you love, truly love and will wear until its falling apart; those items will stand out from the start. All the other stuff, the fluff, the ‘well, that might work’ items, the ‘it’s on sale and I need …’ items, the ‘I’m not sure, but the ones I like are too expensive’ items need to be left where you found them. These are the items that are a waste of money. These are the things that will be worn 2-3 times and then relegated to the abyss in your closet. THESE are the items you wonder about when you finally start donating your unworn clothes. And that fluff, is the stuff you should try to avoid purchasing. However, if you find something that fits you, your lifestyle and your tastes (NOW) that you absolutely love – Buy it!

But do you know what the coolest thing that happened after spending so much time ‘browsing’? I realized the other day that I’m just not into shopping so much. It’s a bit discouraging, but not really. See, I still love to shop but my tastes have gotten sharper. Meaning, that I’ve spent so much time comparing, looking over all the little details throughout my decision making process, that my brain is somehow magically able to recognize cheaply made, fast produced crap just by looking at it. (Not to mention the fact that I do 100’s of hours worth of research before I write about things here on the blog) To test out this theory, I visited some of my previously favourite sites. A shop that sells mainstream designer footwear at reduced prices, a few fave online lingerie stores, and even a couple sites dedicated to higher end mainstream fashion. I was disappointed by almost all of them. It kind of took the fun out of it for me, that it all looks like cheap junk. Toss away items. Shoes that you can see will fall apart after 1 season. It was a disappointment.

I went to look at a few truly high-end sites (just to see if I had developed a distaste for shopping in general) and I found that I could tell immediately the difference in quality, fabric choices, etc. I could purchase underwear in the fabrics I love, 100% leather shoes (soles included) and when I took the time to research the manufacturing reputations of some of these labels, I was not disappointed. I had found my new clothing havens. Only thing is, you have to pay for quality. I don’t mind saving 3 months for a dress I can wear for years to come. Quite the contrary, actually – as I have always said ‘ I would rather have 3 outfits that make me look & feel Ah-mazing, as opposed to 10 that make me feel meh!’ However, I do mind saving for a dress that I won’t wear.

So, in order to display my delusion of expertise on the matter,  I have put together a little step-by-step on how to practice shopping in order to help control your impulse purchases. And some ideas on how to calculate if your desired purchase is really worth the cash you’re throwing down.

Here we go!:

  • Practice shopping online. Preferably on a site that doesn’t have your current payment information saved.
  • Go through & fill up your wishlist (cart if there is none – hence not having your payment info on file…accidents do happen!) with all the things you love or would normally gravitate towards.
  • Don’t go just a little bit through. Go through it like you would normally.
    • For huge sites, this sometimes takes days. Works well if your PC has sleep mode, you can just revisit later.
  • Now, go through your wishlist/cart based on certain criteria. Eliminate items based on 1 criteria at a time.

These are my personal criteria (and in this order):

  • Will it fit me now? (You might be shocked at how many items are eliminated based solely on this!)
  • Fabric content. If you like only 100% natural fabrics like I do, this will cut out like 80% of your wishlist.
  • Does it fit my lifestyle? Do I have a place to wear it? – Imaginary romantic cruises be damned! If you don’t have the tickets, don’t make the purchase.
  • Do I LOVE IT? Now, I’m not Mari Kondo’ing you. She takes it to a whole other level. I’m saying, if you can’t see yourself wearing it to death then you don’t love it.
  • How much do you already have? If you already have enough clothing to wear something different every day of the month, you don’t really need any more. Same goes if you have 5 items you could wear the same way to the same functions. OR this especially applies if you already have similar items.
  • Can I afford it? This doesn’t mean that you have to buy with what you currently have in your wallet. This means that if you can’t afford it, is it worth saving for? Do you really love it that much?
  • What is the Cost/per wear? (C/PW I started talking about this 2 years ago and I swear by this equation. It has saved me from more than a few bad wardrobe investments.) C/PW is exactly what it sounds like. Personally, I prefer my C/PW to be = or > 1€. So, if I purchase a dress worth €144, then I need to wear it at least 144 times.
  • Will it hold up long enough for me to get my desired C/PW out of it?
    • Example: DVF silk dress on sale for €300. As you know, I like my C/PW to be > or = 1€. That means, I have to wear that dress 300 times – or, approximately 1x weekly for the next 6 years. It’s not suitable for our harsh winter environment, but it will work for the other 3 seasons. So, say 8 months. 8×4=32. Soooo… around 9 years. Will I wear this item 1x per week for the next 9 years during the suitable months? (Probably not) Would it stand that kind of wear and care? It may, and you may. But I do have more than 6 combined outfits in my wardrobe, so I may not wear it that often. You can work this out for yourself, but this is just my process. I have to admit though that handbags are a different story. I have consistently invested in high quality leather handbags and I have not purchased a new one in 3 years! I still have one I purchased 8 years ago and it looks like I bought it last month.
  • Will you repair it? If you have gotten your wishlist down to just an item or a few, and you love the selected item to sew it, or take it to a cobbler then I say – Buy it!

This is the thought process I drag myself through each and every time I want to make a purchase. And you know what? It really works! After awhile it becomes quite automatic. And you really wouldn’t believe that once your brain becomes adapted to this thought process, you will begin to recognize that you have managed to just scroll over quite a few purchases that your former self would’ve taken home in a shopping bag.

Now that I have revealed how my inner shopper copes with a world full of perceived must-haves, feel free to recommend a therapist. Hehe 😉

Thank you for reading! What are your techniques for battling the impulse?

-Mliae

*Photo source via Pixabay

The 2 Types of Shoes Women Should Never Buy

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Hi there 🙂

Today, I’m on a mission to save your money and your ankles.

I’m sure that this will most likely result in a loss of any possible affiliate connections with fashionable shoe companies for the foreseeable future. But, to be quite honest with you, having a bit of dignity and a good reputation for honesty here, far outweighs any monetary advances. After all, this is what I seek to do…right?

As I am always browsing blogs, fashion archives and the like – the other day, I was astonished to find an article by a fashionable young woman, telling me that I should wear (exactly one of the items that I’m about to rant against) and nothing else. I could not believe what I was reading. But it continued. And so did my desire to correct it. So, here I am!

As someone who has spent a good portion of my life investing in quality purchases (and quite a few trends), I’m here to do you a service…one which I wish someone had done for me, years ago. That service is to tell you, you are wasting your time with these two types of shoe purchase… and WHY.

  • Mules. I love a slim-lined shoe more than anyone! There is really only 1 reason to stay away from mules and that is….
    • Your ankles. Shoes need ankle support of some kind. True, flip-flops and sandals…I get it. But mules always have a bit of a heel. Meaning that A) you can only shuffle forward and B) One tiny misstep and you’re in the ER with a fractured or twisted ankle.

 

  • Translucent plastic of any kind on a shoe. Don’t do it! Kardashians be damned. Remember that marketing is exactly that…marketing. Don’t believe for a moment that these women are actually walking around in these shoes. Here’s a few reasons why:
    • Plastic acts like a green house for your feet. Trust me, 1 hour in and your shoes will be fogged up and dripping down. (Eeeewwww!)
    • The get gunky so fast! Feet, people. No matter how clean we keep them, if we’re sweating in plastic, its going to get nasty.
    • It’s virtually impossible to clean the plastic bits. For one, plastic absorbs ick and you can never get it out 100%.
    • If the bacteria doesn’t bother you, the toe marks might. There’s nothing more horrid than taking off your fashionable shoes only to have marks of the tops of your toes remaining – and some dirt thrown in. Translucent shoes have to be kept immaculate in order to look ad-ready. That kind of immaculate means daily upkeep. Are you ready to invest that kind of time into a pair of kicks? Yeah, me neither.

 

Anyone else have a ‘No-Go’ shoe type? Please let us know!

Thanks for reading

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pexels

Guest Post: 5 Ingenious Ways to Grow Vegetables and Herbs Indoors

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Hello everyone! 

I’m so happy to have the pleasure of sharing a great guest post with you today! Tim Graham, writer at www.yardandgardenduru.com has been kind enough to offer his advice on indoor gardening for us today! I thought this a perfect topic since winter is upon us and many of us who love to plant, and are at least learning how to do so (Hands up!) might have difficulty in the winter months. I hope you all get as much out of this as I have. Can’t wait to get that indoor garden started! Thank you, Tim for this great post!

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No matter how much space you have at home, it is still possible to grow vegetables and herbs. All that is required is a little ingenuity and a little thought, and you can be well on your way to having fresh produce on hand.

You also have a second benefit from growing in these smaller places. Your home looks chic and much more inviting.

Here are five vegetable gardening ideas that can help you on your way. They are not the ultimate as there are hundreds of ways you can adapt and change what you use to plant. So if you want to plant up, down, left or right there will be an option somewhere.

Window Boxes

These are easy to purchase and take no time to get ready and require very little skill or knowledge. It is good to see what you can grow in windows boxes before you continue:

  • Radishes
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Green onions
  • Most Herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, sage, oregano, and chives)

There are a few tips that will help you obtain the very best from your window box:

  • Examine plant and seed packet labels to ensure the selection you choose will fit in your window box.
  • Your window box should be hung from a south-facing window if possible. This will allow your veggies and herbs to get as much sunlight as possible. If you are unable to do this, and a window will suffice your veggies yet might not get the same doses of sunshine.
  • Use high-quality potting soil. The roots will not be able to reach deeply into the soil to search for nutrients.
  • You should make sure your window box is well fertilized as there will be limited nutrients which will be used by your vegetables as they grow.

Patio Gardening

It is as if container gardening was made for patios. Your containers should be large enough that a few of them will fill the space you have. Ideally, they will be 12 inches deep which allows the roots to spread and take hold. The range of veggies you can grow in large containers is much more than a window box and can include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Bush beans
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Broccoli

Climbing plants can also be produced in containers. All you have to do is position these at the back or use poles that give them something to climb up. All soil care is the same as a window box apart from watering; your plants might need more frequent watering as containers pass water much quicker.

Hanging Baskets

These can go anywhere where you can hang them out of the way, be it a patio, balcony or in a bright area inside your home; the possibilities are endless. You might think you are limited to veggies that can be grown, yet some varieties thrive in these conditions.

A few that are possible are:

All herbs.

Tomatoes – some varieties have been created specifically for this purpose.

Strawberries – these can grow well in those partially shaded areas that you have.

The one significant difference for baskets is you have to use a good quality potting mix as the growing medium. This helps to reduce weight and to provide those much-needed nutrients.

As with the other options, watering and using fertilizer is crucial due to the basket size.

Vertical Pallet Gardens

These take up very little space as they grow vertically and can be hung or stand in any area. There are a few options of how to use a recycled pallet; this ranges from filling the whole thing with packed potting soil or adding landscape fabric to the bottom of each shelf that you will utilize. If you consider hanging one on the wall of your house, you should line the back with landscape fabric, black PVC and a sheet of thin plywood to prevent moisture from seeping backward.

You can also find the range of vegetables is quite considerable yet not limited to:

  • Peppers
  • Peas
  • Beans Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Strawberries

As with all the other ideas, potting soil and good fertilizer are recommended.

Gutter Gardens

These can be very cheap and quick to construct. They can also be hung or more often than not secured to a wall or a fence. Although any gutter can be used, it is advisable to opt for aluminum for strength reasons (especially if hanging).

If you have space 10-foot lengths are ideal. Here you fasten endcaps and secure them in place and drill a few small holes in the bottom side of the gutter at one end for drainage.

Again an excellent potting soil is advised for good root growth. One fastened to your area and filled with soil it is a matter of choosing the best vegetables to grow. Again you will be surprised what is possible. The following vegetables can be produced in a very cheap garden that you can hang 2 or 3 high against your chosen surface.

  • Lettuce, Salad Greens, Mustard, and Spinach
  • Radish and other small rooting vegetables (carrots or beets)
  • Strawberries
  • Snap peas
  • Garlic and Bunching Onions
  • Most Herbs (basil, thyme, parsley, sage, oregano, and chives)

About the Author – Tim Graham writes at YardandGardenGuru.com. He is passionate about gardening, yard care, and the tools. Outside of writing Tim usually finds himself knee-deep in lawn clippings, weeds, and grandchildren.

How do you do your indoor garden?

-Mliae

Some Thoughts on Crazy-Making Blog Formats

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Hi there 🙂

So. I’ve been on a blog reading binge this week. (More so than usual.) And I have a few suggestions. This is kind of a bitching post, but mainly I’m just trying to help….and save my own sanity.

There are several things that one must consider when creating a website of any kind:

  • Your audience: If you’re writing about High school, then your audience is probably quite young. Which statistically speaking, means they won’t be spending extended amounts of time in one sitting – so your options need to be easily accessible & your titles need to be attention grabbers. If you’re writing about you post-retirement travels, or wine reviews, your target audience will be (for the most part) 30+. This means your audience will probably stay a bit longer (if they’re interested) & will most times read more than 1 post. This also means you need to keep it simple – easy to navigate. I can tell you that if I can find what I’m looking for in under 2 clicks, I’m a happy girl.
  • Easy Navigation: A bit more on the aforementioned. Navigation is everything. Seriously. I know of NO-ONE who will continue on any site if it is difficult to navigate. By this, I mean, if I have to click the Blog button on a BLOG – that’s just additional wasted time. The only time this should be ok is if it is a business page, which includes a blog. Otherwise, home is the blog. If I’m looking for posts from last year, then I go to the menu buttons – find a special topic. But If I’m just looking for the latest post, then it should be front and center. Please tell me if you disagree.
  • Background colours: This can be a biggie. We want to grab attention, but not make it difficult to focus on. (Chill on the neon colours…it wreaks havoc on the eyes) Dark colours can be a win or a lose. Too many busy patterns can give an instantaneous headache. You may like it, but your audience may not. It’s all about priorities – which is more important to you?
  • Your goals for the site: Do you want people to purchase? (You need to leave a virtual cookie crumb trail towards the register) Do you want people to read 1 main article? (Feature it!) Do you want people to stay and browse/read? (Make several items available without needing to scroll)

When I’m visiting a new blog (or… new to me), the things that make me run & never look back are:

  • Seeing the templates instead of blog posts (ex; Your blog post here, here, here). If its a super new blog, I understand, BUT if there’s lots of blog posts- just on other pages & the home page is still a template, that just screams that blogging isn’t important enough to put in the effort for the site owner, so it isn’t important enough to spend my valuable time on. This is my biggest turn-off for a blog. Maybe I’m just neurotic, but it is a killer.
  • Having to search for the latest blog post. I’ve taken the time to visit your blog and want to read what you have to say. But I have to click, click, click, back click, click to even find your most recent blog post. Nope. I’m heading outta there if its that kind of treasure hunt. As I said earlier; If yours is a business page which includes a blog, that’s a different story. Business 1st! But if yours is a blog – 100% blog – Why is it so difficult to find?
  • Not being able to ‘like’ a post. I understand there are many reasons people choose to format this way. This is only my personal weirdness. But if I can’t ‘like’ your post, it makes me feel like you’re kind of forcing me to comment in order to show my support & I hate that feeling. I just leave.
  • Crazy colours. If your background is searing bright red into my retinas, I’m running for the hills. Same goes for neon. It’s pretty, but headache inducing. Plus, it makes it difficult to focus on the print.

That’s pretty much it for my rant. I hope my suggestions are somewhat helpful.

I’m adding a few links below to other better-blogging articles you might want to read:

A Opinionated Man.

Unsolicited Advice to Beginning Bloggers

What are some of the format issues that make you scream?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Photo by Asa Rodger on Unsplash

5 Great Uses for Household White Vinegar

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When we think of vinegar, the image that usually comes to mind is cucumbers soaked in the stuff and an odiferous smell. Well, white vinegar is actually great for a multitude of uses. I am a big fan of having anything in my home which serves more than one purpose. Here are some of the great uses for white vinegar. There are hundreds, I’m sure. But I’m listing my top 5:

  • Preserving and Canning, of course: I think that just about anything can be preserved with a varying ratio of vinegar, water and sugar. This is something I love to do but need tons of practice to perfect.
  • Windows: My grandmother taught me this little trick. Add 25% white vinegar to 75% hot water (not much, a small dessert bowl will go a loooonnngggg way!) Take a balled up piece of newspaper, dip in solution and wipe windows. Use a dry balled up piece of newspaper to dry window and you shouldn’t have streaks!
  • Sunburn: Yes, you heard me – Sunburn. The acidity in the vinegar effectively sucks the burn out. If it’s really bad, you might want to do this several times. For a light or patchy sunburn pour a small bit of vinegar to the palm of your hand, place on burnt skin and rub in. (Yes, it smells bad…but it helps…A LOT). For a full-on I-fell-asleep-on-the-beach-for-four-hours burn, hop in the shower, run some cold water over yourself first, then pour (Yes, pour) the vinegar over your burnt bits. Try to rub in or just stand there and let it soak in. Don’t use the whole bottle in one go, but repeat several times. Rinse off, but wait until you feel the burning subside. (You will basically be dry by this point) It’s a desperate measure, but tried and proven.
  • To rid your home of odors: It actually works. Just a tad in a small dessert cup set out on the counter will help to get rid of weird food odors and the like. I’ve found that leaving it out for 6-8 hours is enough to completely clear the air and your home won’t smell vinegar-y either.
  • Smelly kitchen drains: If you’ve got that ‘ugh, what’s that fucking smell and where’s it coming from?!’ stench, its your drains. Pour a small amount of vinegar down the kitchen drains and let it just be there awhile before you turn on the water. It won’t eliminate it entirely, but it will give you a large degree of relief. Works well if you are in a rural area or have a septic tank and can’t use bleach or lye in your drains.

What are some of your favourite uses for vinegar?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

A Few Sites That Appreciate Being Reblogged.

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Hi there!

When it comes to reblogging, we should never assume that all bloggers would like their work to be shared. Many do, of course, as its a great way to create awareness of ones blog. But not all blogs are the same. Many blogs are related to specialized fields or have taken a sincere amount of research, or the blogger/author would like to keep their content unique. Not to mention the businesses on wordpress which create a blog as a way to create a more personal bond with their clients. This is why we must always. ALWAYS ask before reblogging a post, and ad a sincere thank you and shout-out to the original author when reblogging.

This can be time-consuming and frustrating when we, as bloggers, stumble upon a post that we would love to share because we know our readers would really like to see it! To help ease the pain a bit, I have put together a list of sites that have stated that being reblogged is totally cool and they appreciate it.

I will be updating this list for you regularly. If you would like your site to be added onto the list, please leave a link and state that you would like to be added, in the comment section below.

Feel free to reblog this post, and keep it handy for reference later if you’re a reblogging fan! And remember; If you would like your site added to this ever-growing list, please leave a comment about it in the comments section 🙂

Thanks for reading, thanks for sharing!

-Mliae

The guys guide to female communication: what she says vs. what she means

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In today’s age of gadget driven communication, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to social and physical cues to decipher the message. There are countless books out there which tackle this message, but sometimes its so blatantly obvious that one must chuckle at the inability to take a hint. *Guys, ladies hint… A LOT!

As my significant other has sucked me into the world of youtube, I have witnessed some absolutely cringe-worthy tutorials on what women want. (Usually by young men who have not had the life experience required to even take a guess)

So, I figured we’d have some fun and I would write my own little list of  what she says (does) vs. what she means. I hope you either have a good giggle, or maybe get that codex in your head once and for all 😉

 

*When you ask what she wants for dinner, what she says: I don’t know, what do you want? What she means: I really don’t know, what do you want?! Maybe you’ll amaze me with something that will make me super happy 🙂

*What she says: I’m not a feminist

What she means: Todays feminists are so overboard. Ask me in the 1950’s and my answer would be yes, when it was about the ability to work for fair pay – not as a teacher or secretary without being demonized. But as of this maniacal raving about everything male? Nope, not a feminist, I love a manly man.

*What she says: I’m craving candy

What she means: I’m craving candy, will you please be awesome enough to buy me some?

*What she does: Have the house clean & greets you at the door with a kiss and a smile

What she means: I missed you, you’re appreciated, and..oh yeah…You are so getting lucky tonight!

*What she says: I like those shoes

What she means: Would you like to see me in those shoes?!

*When you ask her how she’s doing, what she says: I’m fine. What she means: I’m anything but ok. Ask me what’s wrong. I dare you.

*What she says: Oh, she’s pretty

What she means: Please, say something about her that doesn’t make her perfect

*What she says: I talked to so-and-so today. (usually a boss or family member)

What she means: Break out the red wine, its going to be a loooonnnngggg night!

*What she does: Sits with her body angled towards you.

What she means: I’m interested! 🙂

*What she says: I’m going out with the girls

What she means: I’m going to grab a drink/do some shopping & listen to a shit ton of gossip, so you’d better be ready to listen to me bitch about my friends when I get back.

*What she says: I’m going shopping.

What she means: Tell me if there’s ONE thing you need & cross your fingers all the bills have been paid.

*What she says: I want to snuggle

What she means: Phones, iPads, PC’s and music be damned! I’m staying right here in this cozy spot for the day! Hope he orders in pizza.

*What she says: Can we leave the phones (somewhere) for dinner?

What she means: If I see you on that phone while we’re supposed to be having a romantic meal together, that thing is going to fly out the window. No shit.

*What she says: I’m hungry.

What she means: I was hungry 2 hours ago, I’m now so ravenous I’m ready to eat the couch! Food! Stat! Before I turn into a monster :/

*What she does: Order a small salad as her meal

What she means: I really care what you think about me. Don’t worry, I’ll be eating an entire ham at around midnight tonight.

*What she says: Where do you see this going?

What she means: Seriously?! Whhhhyyyyy are you soooo slow?! You’ve had ample time to fall in love with me, now tell me what I want to hear and lets get moving!

There are so many more of these that I just couldn’t stop myself, but I didn’t want you scrolling, scrolling, scrolling along.

What do you think? Ladies, am I wrong? Guys, have any funny remedies to these?

Thanks for joining in the fun!

-Mliae

Super Sustainable Wardrobe Clean-out!

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OK, I did it. And you would not BELIEVE the size of the discard pile!

Many of you know that I have made a promise to myself, and to you, that I would not purchase any items this year that are not made of 95%(difficult to find elastin-free items)-100% natural fibre. That means: Cotton (the top at this moment because I can wash it), Alpaca, Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Bamboo, Cupro, leather, fur or linen. This has been anything but easy!

I got super frustrated searching the labels of everything I put on and made a drastic decision: Fill the wardrobe with only your natural fibre clothing. Then sort out the rest and get rid of most of it since you aren’t really wearing it at this point anyway.

I have a male friend who decided one New Year’s to get rid of everything in his closet. Read: EVERYTHING. Then he was to go out and purchase items that he really loved. When he ran out of money (as he didn’t have a fortune to begin with) he was done, and would only then add needed pieces as the need arose. Although this is an extreme measure to take, I was sooooo tempted to do the same. But alas, that would be quite wasteful and that is counter-intuitive to my task. So I did not.

When I did the closet clean-out, it was such a mammoth task that I didn’t really want to even start it. I knew that there would be no breaks from start to finish, since everything I currently own was piled on my bed.

I did the initial checking and separating, and then I went through several more times to get it to the point it is now. The initial checking had nothing to do with whether or not I actually liked the garment, it went purely by the fabric.

So here’s what I did:

  • I took EVERYTHING hanging in my wardrobe, and hanging or folded in my closet – out.
  • I laid it all in a pile (hangers and everything) on the bed. I was a mountain of stuff.
  • I went through, piece by piece, and checked the fabric content tags.
  • If it was 95-100% natural fiber, it was hung back into the wardrobe.
  • Items were hung to only 1 piece per hanger. (I formerly had entire outfits on the hanger, but I wanted to be able to SEE what I have)
  • All items that were made of artificial fabrics went into a pile elsewhere.
  • Once I had completely gone through and separated out my natural fabric clothing, I got a (new, clean) big trash bag to use as a ‘going out’ pile.
  • I contacted several of my girlfriends to see who might be interested in sorting through some of my stuff, so I knew the types of items (and fit) that my girlfriends might snag. This is really a great thing if you have a closet full of 2-sizes too small designer items that you spent a fortune for and can’t bear to get rid of, but you know you will never be that size again.
  • The calls were a success, and now that discard pile didn’t look so big. I went through the discard pile and made several smaller piles for each friend, her taste and her size. Now I had my friends set, and didn’t have to feel bad about sharing basically new, very nice items of clothing.
  • There wasn’t actually too much left. A few faves, which I had worn the life out of over the course of several years. Must of these were no longer in nice shape, so donating was out of the question. But I didn’t exactly want to toss them in the rubbish pile either. So…I started looking into what my possibilities were. Turns out, H&M has a recycle programme for polyester.
  • I went back through the discard pile and looked at the fabric tags again. Anything that was polyester, I put in a bag to donate to H&M’s recycle programme.
  • And then, there were like 3 grubby items that I really just had to discard. So I did, and it wasn’t easy. I felt like a hoarder. I no longer wear it, but because I loved it for so long, I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it out. Holes and all. But I did.
  • Then, I sat back and looked at my nice, clean, extremely well organized wardrobe and smiled. The feature pic shows my view.
  • Turns out my love of all things cashmere and linen has really helped me out as I had enough tops to wear for 2 weeks before repeating. Jeans, linen pants, 1 pair wool pants, leather pants,  1 pair cotton suit pants & 2 leather skirts help me to be able to dress for any occasion. 3 summer silk shirts and one gold special occasion blouse mix and match perfectly with my selection of pants and skirts. And 2 leather jackets, 1 matching cotton blazer & a denim jacket to complete the looks. I was all set and much better off in the versatility department than I have ever expected!

I have to tell you that I feel like a huge weight has been taken off me. Not only do I no longer have to dig my through my clothes to find the few things that fit my self-challenge for this year of only wearing/buying sustainable clothing and made from natural fabric clothing, but choosing my daily outfits is SO MUCH EASIER!

To anyone who is standing in front of a packed wardrobe saying you have nothing to wear, or that wants to go cold-turkey onto a sustainable or capsule wardrobe, I strongly suggest sorting out your closet using these methods. And doing it step by step, as just tossing items out can be overwhelming and might easily result in a mosh-mash of items that don’t really go together.

How did your last closet clean-out go?

-Mliae

How to select your next Brand Ambassador.

This is a reblog and a great post which I feel should be shared. Even if you aren’t a brand searching for a brand ambassador, this is good information for bloggers who are hoping to achieve ambassador status. Consider this a checklist of things that brands will be looking for.

Thanks for reading this repost!

-Mliae

Blogging

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I had to share this great blogging post from www.aopinionatedman.com This is one of the blogs I follow daily and it is chock full of great advice from a standpoint based in reality. 🙂 I think all of us need these reality checks every once in awhile…
Thanks, J, for letting me share!

Capsule Wardrobe Survival: 8 Ideas to make your black dress work overtime for casual, office and evening!

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Hello ladies 🙂 This post is for all my comrades in the eco-fashion, capsule wardrobe journey. As well as those who, like myself, are wiling to invest in an item of clothing that can do triple-time, even if there isn’t exactly available funds for a luxury purchase. (Thus creating the necessity to make your few items work well for you in multiple social circumstances).

Today, I bit the bullet and purchased this dress. (Ok, it was actually a joy, not a chore.) Although I do have a Vince Camuto LBD that I purchased years ago and still get quite a bit of wear out of, its short, low-cut and sleeveless. It’s winter now. I just…can’t. Something about snow, wind and a mini skirt just doesn’t calculate well. I haven’t had a basic black dress for winter in many years. However, I thought long and hard about how I could make this purchase worth my while with the items I currently have available for my winter capsule wardrobe.

As most of you know, I have made myself a promise that I would not buy fast fashion (Which unfortunately, also means affordable for someone with a next to nothing budget) and that I buy only natural fabrics. I went on a long search and found this dress. 95% cotton and 5% elastin. (I prefer zero elastin, but hey, sometimes it’s just there. Like, good luck finding a pair of jeans with no elastin. Am I right?) Then I kept it bookmarked for a few weeks while I weighed the options. Today, I checked out 😉

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The following are the ways I will turn this basic black into a Capsule Wardrobe essential that will work overtime for a variety of occasions!

  • Firstly, you can just wear it like it is with a pair of black flats.

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  • Dress it up for a semi-formal evening  or a hot date, with a glamorous necklace and sexy heels (rose gold, in my case)
  • Accessorize a great look for the office with a big cozy scarf, a light necklace, and thick heeled ankle boots
  • Go boho with a loose cozy poncho and thick heeled ankle boots or wedges
  • For an easy to achieve highly sophisticated look, pair the dress with a brown leather obi belt and brown and black heels
  • For a super casual day, throw on those converse and a denim jacket! (I’m so glad wearing sneakers with dresses is fashionable now!)
  • For another business look, pair with a cashmere cardi, a skinny belt and highly sculpted suede ankle heels
  • If it’s really cold and you just want to be warm, cozy and look super cute; Throw on your favourite boyfriend sweater over top of it and pair with boots or sneakers.

It’s all about accessorizing, ladies! It’s amazing how versatile this one item can be when using items you probably already own to make it go from casual to office to a night out!

What are some of your must-have capsule wardrobe staples?

-Mliae

*Please note: These photos have been taken from pinterest, google and my own items. There are no shopping links contained within.

My unsolicited advice to beginning bloggers

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Hi there, and thanks for stopping by to scan my unsolicited advice for beginning bloggers post! Now, I am well aware that this post is a bit of a risk. I am not a professional blogger, and I absolutely do not claim to have a plethora of knowledge on the subject. I definitely don’t want to come across as saying ‘blog like me’. The reason I felt compelled to write this post (and am a bit nervous as to how this will be perceived) is that, well, honestly, I’m big on  etiquette. As in – saying ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’, ‘May I’ and telling someone when they have something in their teeth. I’ve spent a lot of time cringing at posts with something in their teeth. Although I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there who cringe at some of my posts with the same vigor.

As a blogger – that seems to have been around for awhile (comparatively speaking, as this article from 29 August, 2016 states that the current average lifespan of a blog is only 100 days…That is dismal.) This article has a few theories on why blogs don’t seem to last so long anymore. Anywho, I digress….

A bit about me: When I began blogging, I didn’t really know if anyone would even be interested in what I have to say. After all, it’s a mishmash of all things ‘my life’. Travel, thoughts, home reno, shopping, spa days, book & product reviews, and just life in general. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to make some golden friendships here and honestly, without their help, support & guidance, I think I would have easily foundered by now.  I don’t usually write posts about blogging, because well, I am no expert. Just like most everyone else, I have had to learn by trial and error, ask for tons of help, read better blogging posts until my head hurt, and just see what happens over time.  Aside from my own mistakes, I have seen several ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ that seem to be a recurrent issue in many of the blogs that I peruse. So, as your sister in the blogosphere, I feel obligated to share my thoughts on things that might help you out a bit. Agree or don’t, its completely up to you. I’m not telling you what you should do with your blog. It’s yours, keep it yours.  I know that I scoured thousands of articles on this topic when I was starting out – and continue to today. So here’s a few lessons I’ve learned and would just like to pass on:

Please DO, I think it will help:

  • Be yourself! Everyone is different and every blogger has their style & preferences. If you do what everyone else does because you think that’s the way things should go, then all blogs would be the same and … that’s no fun.
  • Write what you are passionate about!  People can see your passion and expertise in your posts.
  • Proofread your posts!  If you can’t spend the time to review your writing before hitting the publish button, why should people spend the time out of their lives reading it?
  • Publish regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily, or even weekly. But you should maintain some sort of schedule. Personally, I now post at least three times weekly. More often if I have more to say. When I began blogging, I posted once weekly. That was enough to slowly build my blog and have the time to learn about what I was doing. Your followers will appreciate your consistency. (It is one of my blogging pet peeves when a blog I follow posts daily, or multiple times per day, and then drops off the planet without any reason given for two months, returns with an apology & 5 posts on the same day. It IS however completely understandable & acceptable if life gets in the way. We all have things to do. Just let people know and it seems to go over better if your posting schedule isn’t totally erratic.). Slow and Steady wins the race.
  • Set reasonable, yet challenging goals for yourself. For example, my goal was to reach 1,000 WP subscribers in my first year. Not easy, but I knew if I could do it, it was sign that I could continue blogging. It took almost a year to achieve that goal, but once I did – it felt like nothing could stop me. Thanks everybody for THAT! 🙂 🙂 
  • Make sure your Gravitar profile is on-key! Many people will find you through this, so make sure its updated and well kept!
  • Sync all your social media accounts. I can’t tell you what a time-saver it is to have my posts updated on all accounts the moment they are published.
  • Make your posts worthy of a life/time investment! There is spending time (wasting time) and there is investing time. The point being, that people are spending time in their lives that is gone – never to return- once it’s spent, reading our blogs. Do we want this to be a waste of their time in life? OF COURSE NOT! This is where the term time investment comes into play. The difference? An investment implies ROI – or return on investment.  If someone invests their time reading your article, and comes out of it enriched with something – be it motivation, knowledge, awareness, a smile, an idea or increase in blog traffic – then they have received a solid return on their investment. Well done!
  • Enroll in everything! Learning is the best way. WordPress Blogging University offers free online courses on a regular basis: Blogging 101, blogging 201, commenting bootcamp, branding & marketing strategies, photography, et al. Follow the link above for the sign-up page. Personally, I never stop learning. I’ve found that the more I learn about blogging, the more I realize I don’t have a clue and need to learn more.
  • NETWORK! There are constantly sites hosting meet and greets, networking parties, drop your link posts, et al. Do it! This is a great time investment for you! Get to know other bloggers, leave your link, repost the parties and socialize, socialize, socialize! This is hands-down the best way to get your site out there. Personally, I have followed hundreds of new sites I found on these parties that I never would have known existed otherwise.
  • Be considerate of your fellow bloggers. New, old and indifferent – we are ALL here to accomplish something. A large percentage of your subscribers are fellow bloggers. They are investing in you, you should invest in them. Take the time to check out their sites. Like or comment if you find a post you like.
  • Sharing is caring. If you stumble across a blog post that is wonderful and you think your followers would love to read it, share! However, please always ask in the comments section before you reblog or wp it. Some bloggers love to be shared, some don’t. So make sure first. Personally, I love it when someone deems my work worthy of a good share 😉 Also, when you share the post, make sure to thank the original blogger in the additional area for an introductory comment. Respect for others is key!

Please DON’T:

  • Sweat SEO. The search engines will pick up your articles at some point. I’m still pleasantly surprised when I see search engine views on my stats page.
  • Post more than twice daily  (Unless you are an incredibly popular site (in excess of several thousand followers) news site or a massive site which has multiple bloggers publishing articles – then it’s a whole new ballgame and post away!) The reason for this is that it appears (to me) as though you are only inundating the web with links, photos or little snippets in order to attract more traffic to your site. Trust me, its obvious. Quantity does not mean Quality. Not to mention it gunks up people’s email inboxes. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. There are at least 5 blogs that I follow which post good quality posts, multiple times a day. But I can tell you as someone who spends a lot of time reading blogs, that this is the exception more than the rule.
  • Post the link to your site in the comment section of other blogs, unless it has been specifically requested. (My other major blogging pet peeve) It’s spammy, and many bloggers, including myself, will just delete it. Other people’s blogs are not your free marketing arena. People can find their way to your site via your profile name and gravitar profile which is displayed with your comments. Plus, there is always a networking party to be found where you are encouraged to drop your link. But as for comment spamming: Seriously, please, don’t do it. Send an email if you truly want to thank people for following. Comments are great! Please just don’t use them to direct traffic to your own site.
  • Put all your stock in numbers. True, stats are important. And the difference between 200 followers and 2,000 is huge. However, its the quality of traffic that really matters. Go with the 10% rule (personally, I think more like %6 is more realistic). Meaning: Only an average of 10% of your subscribers will actually see or like your post. Interaction is huge! If you have a higher ratio of views, likes and comments – then you have high quality traffic. A person with 200 followers can get 70 likes on a great article and a person will 2,000 followers can get 30. This is what I mean.
  • Let your ambition turn you into a naive nut. This is the internet. There are predators out there and we are prime prey. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If a company you’ve never heard of contacts you, do some research before replying. And NEVER-EVER pay to be an ambassador or freely hand out your personal information for anything! Companies will contact you in time, don’t you worry. Looking for fresh talent is what people do for a full-time job.
  • Play the follow/unfollow game. This is not instagram. You can’t expect likes & follows in return, although many people respect others enough to do so. But also because professional and business bloggers, as well as those who have popular blogs are paying a small fortune for self hosting domains with all the bells and whistles – which include google analytics. Many watch the numbers very closely, as it tells what we are doing wrong: navigation and the like. So, WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Nobody likes a cheater, so please stop doing it. Be legit, or be gone. (Another pet-peeve: on all platforms, the people who do this are kind of A-holes, in my personal opinion. I always make sure that I do NOT follow or like any of those who play this follow/unfollow game…I don’t care how great your content is.)
  • Invest too much money until you know where you’re going with this. I realize that this is difficult at times. We all need hosting, new programs, cameras, products and the like. Fake it, till you make it…right? BUT what happens if you spend yourself into oblivion and then decide 4 months later that blogging isn’t for you? Remember your ROI. You are left with a pile of investment and no return.
  • Drink and blog. Seriously. Yes, you will regret that rant in the morning. We all know you were wasted because it looks like you were typing with your face. Sleep it off and rant in the morning.

Please Remember:

  • Quantity is not Quality. Quality is better.
  • Remember who your friends are, they are golden.
  • Gain a thirst for knowledge
  • Sharing is caring!
  • ROI on your followers time investment.
  • It’s not all about numbers
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be legit, or be gone
  • Respect for others is key!
  • Enjoy yourself!

Thanks for reading, everyone! If you have any more advice you would like to add, please leave it in the comments section so we can all see!

Feel free to share this post if you would like 🙂

– Mliae

Guest Post: Doubt and Decisions

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Hello everyone!

Today I am so pleased to introduce Brooke, from The Utopian Universe ! She is a fully qualified psychologist, life coach and performance consultant.I have been following her blog for awhile now and I really enjoy all her shared positivity and valuable life lessons. Do yourself a favour and check her out!

I was very happy when she agreed to write a guest post for us, because even though I discuss topics from here, there and everywhere – I am not qualified, nor am I in the know enough to write about such valuable topics concerning thought processes like she is. Brooke has a way of stripping bare all the clutter bugs in our minds, in order to show us the resolute simpleness of things that drive us absolutely mad. Such as – flopping back and forth during (or after) the decision making process.

Please everyone welcome Brooke and share with her the warmth and kindness that you so wonderfully share with me!

Enjoy!

-Mliae

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I am very honoured to bring you this post today, as a Guest Blog, for my friend Mliae, as you follow her fabulous blog, I hope you will enjoy this, it regards something that we all do, whoever we are. Brooke – The Utopian Universe

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Do you think that a decision and doubt are opposites ? And maybe that a decisive person would never doubt ? Well reality is very different, because the previous step is essential in the process of a decision. As we go through are reasoning it takes us to our decision, without a doubt!

Why do we wear those clothes and not another? Why do you eat that piece of cheese? It’s not an accident, all day long we make and take decisions, some are conscious and some are not, the majority are not, we dress, we choose our food, and we even decide to use one word instead of another. In most cases we just do it,we don’t doubt or decide, it’s just an action we take.

We have this doubt and decision, just like we breath, we don’t think about it, we are alive thankfully because we breathe, and by the same token we are responsible for our life, resolving doubts and making decisions.

In general, we think that doubt and decisions, are opposites ! This is where the saying, a decisive person never doubts and the day they do they don’t make a solid decision. In actual fact doubt and decision are complimentary, one follows the other, and are both essential parties in the process of a situation of resolution.

OUR INTERNAL CHIT CHAT

Doubt will usually come from an external factor, like, a professional or job option, although it comes from an external place,we then take it inside of us and the chit-chat starts, one part of each wants one thing and the other part of us wants something different, so what do we do ? We are made up of multiple aspects, afraid but brave, generous but cautious and above all confused…imagine if you could take an x-ray of ourselves in this moment.

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When we are in doubt, we start a mechanism inside of us, that could look a little like a theater production. We have the main characters, their images, their dialogue that in the end come together to form the final act, during this process hopefully we will have learned valuable information about how you work on the inside. The doubt is only provisional , as we always find a solution even if you think no, the person who says “No, you decide for me” they did reach a decision, they decided to let another decide! This is when decision is confused with action, however there are people who are passive,silent not moving when decisions are made.

Many years ago, a Chinese Warrior Sun Zu, said that the art of the great warrior, was to win the battle without going into combat….this type of decision , shows a person that does not doubt but knows how to evaluate well !!

DOUBT AND LEARNING

When we doubt, we get the opportunity to analyse and listen to our inner arguments, expect chit-chat it will help us with the learning process and for us to witness our personal transformation. It is important that you reach an agreement , after listening to your internal arguments and views to reach your decision, show respect to both internal conversations and accept the disagreement. Always leave a little space for a change of decision, change or cancellation of the same.(There is nothing wrong in changing your decision for valid reasons, not on a whim )

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LIVE THE UNCERTAINTY

There are situations that we become involved in but we don’t control, this is when we have uncertainty, uncertainty is not confusion, it is not doubt and it is not decision, it is simply a situation where we are passengers and not the driver, in these cases there is no doubt to have and no decision to be taken. Uncertainty is just lived and hopefully it is done in the best way possible.

When we have doubt, we should be able to discover, once we have gone through it, what true alternatives we have, if we manage to do this , we will be able to value what each option holds, this allows us to reduce are margin of error. Doubts are not cancelled or just forgotten, a doubt is resolved, when you do this you may form a new option that previously did not exist. For this reason to learn to doubt, is to learn to decide, and when we realise and understand this, you will decide in a conscious and responsible manner, and also above all else it gives us peace within ourselves.

-Brooke

5 Easy Ways to Save Money in Switzerland

For all you traveling folks out there, I had to reblog this great post from Ticker Eats the World, about 5 ways you can save money in Switzerland. Check it out!

Let me begin by breaking the myth. Switzerland isn’t as expensive as most people make it out to be. It’s not cheap either, but when you think about train travel and food, prices resembl…

Source: 5 Easy Ways to Save Money in Switzerland