Weekend Link Love

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Basically that up there is what happens when you buy a sweet potato and forget about it for a few weeks. Oops? I can’t believe it’s the weekend already! This week has gone by fast and I feel like I got quite a bit done so I’m pretty happy with myself and am going to take the weekend to just kind of relax. As much as possible at least since I’m going to be pet sitting again! Hope you get a chance to either put your feet up or go on a fun adventure.

I consider myself a happy person, but this list of the essential ingredients to being a happy person was still a good reminder.

I love listening to podcasts while cleaning/tidying so here’s a list of some I’m excited to try. I already listen to The Lively Show and it’s one of my favorites!

Do you sleep naked? Apparently there some benefits.

Things that have made me laugh out loud recently: this,

Or if you’d rather get a little (ok, a lot) teary-eyed: a dogs last day on earth. Reminds me of when Roxy passed in January.

How to Set a Custom White Balance on your DSLR. I’m always fighting with my camera and I think this will help with my color/lighting issues.

As a vegetarian beans should really be more of a staple in my diet. I’m trying, but I am not so good at cooking them. Here’s how to cook dry beans.

I’m not really into oatmeal, but these photos make me want to give it a try with a little more creativity!

Steps to summer salad perfection. Get out of your salad rut! (I’m mostly yelling at myself here)

Remember my simple bread recipe? I don’t remember if I shared it, but Issa shared her results on Live Love Grow.

Have a happy weekend!

Foster Pupdate // week three + bad news

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My foster pups are now three weeks old. Their eyes began to open just before three weeks and they’re starting to see the world. Unfortunately, after several days of refusing to eat and overall not doing well, Catalina passed away on Friday very early in the morning. Long story short I came downstairs around 3am and she was cold and very weak. I got her to eat a little and then threw on a sports bra where I let her sleep against my chest for warmth and the comforting sound of a heartbeat (like if they were sleeping against their momma dog). A few hours later I attempted to let her eat again. She refused and was dehydrated so I gave her some fluids. After that I held her to me and just like that she was gone.

That morning was tough for me, but I tried not to blame myself. Everyone kept telling me it could happen when puppies aren’t able to be raised by their mom. Like a friend said to me “the only thing you’re doing wrong is that you’re not a dog“. So true. I’m pretty good at being logical and intentional with my emotions and expectations in most situations so I went into this hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. Sweet Catalina is so dearly missed, but we have three other puppies who need me.

The day I wrote this post, Monday, Huntington stopped eating again. He started acting weak, refusing food and sleeping even more than usual. I did my best to care for him, bought some pedalyte to help him through this until the vet opened the next day. But as he got worse he reminded me of how Catalina was acting and I decided I needed to make the drive to the emergency vet in Bakersfield. It was a long 45 minutes drive, one hand on Huntington when it was safe, windows rolled up, no AC because he needed to stay warm. If you know what Bakersfield is like in the summer, you’ll know how torturous that was for me.

Instead of typing it all up again, here’s what I shared with the facebook followers of Marley’s Mutts: It kills me to come to you with bad news again, but unfortunately Huntington passed away at the vet last night. He was held in an incubator to warm him until the vet could see him and once he was examined the vet’s guess was something congenital and very bluntly told me that he could warm him up, give him fluids and try to tube feed, but that he was probably going to die. I truly appreciated the honesty, though it caught me off guard at first, and it confirmed what I feared, but also knew. So at around 11pm I started the ride back up to Tehachapi leaving him in the vets hands and got a call a few hours later that he was gone. I almost feel guilty for leaving him, but by the time he got to the vet he was barely conscious and I had to get back home to take care of his two remaining sisters. From the beginning we all knew this was a possibility, though I might have been in some sort of a naive denial. Puppies without mommas don’t do well and while I want to say this is just another part of rescue, that doesn’t make it fair or any less painful. Huntington, you were a sweet boy and are already terribly missed. I promise to do my best to care for your sisters, they are strong little ladies and I have high hopes for them. Going from caring for and loving four puppies, down to two leaves a sadness and emptiness I can’t explain, but the only way any of us can continue the work we do is to give ourselves a minute to grieve and then pull ourselves up and move on.

While I’m not a puddle of tears and emotion, my spirit has been a little broken for the last few days. Like I said above, I have to shake it off and I’ve been pretty good at that. My focus now is on making sure Malibu and Venice, the two remaining puppies, are healthy and happy.

Right now:

  • ears are open and they can hear me when I’m getting ready to feed them so they start grunting and scooting around
  • eyes are open, but still a bit foggy so they aren’t quite able to see more than light and shadows, but looking into their little eyes after 2 weeks of caring for them without seeing their eyes is enough to make my heart melt
  • pups are now going potty on our own which means lots of bedding changes and laundry to keep things clean
  • there are also a lot of warm water baths going on around here, usually at least one a day
  • these little stinkers are getting loud when they are hungry, they are quite persistent with their crying
  • they are learning to walk so there’s a lot of awkward raising up on all fours, wobbling, falling over and rolling onto their backs AND a lot of butts in the air walking with their back legs and just scooting on their front legs. note to self: take a video!

We are so close to having tiny, but semi functional puppies to play with and I’m so excited! So is Ralph, our chihuahua who loves puppies in general and wants to sleep in their crate with them. Having these little guys around is on one hand time consuming and frustrating, but at the same time it’s such a gift to be able to see them grow up from just days old.

Are Sponsor Ads Right for Your Blog?

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Having sponsors for your blog can be a good way to make a little extra money, but there are a lot of things to consider before jumping in with both feet.

Do you want to drive traffic away from your site?

One thing you really need to consider is that the point of having ads on your website is to get your readers to click them and visit your sponsors. If your goal is to keep your audience on your site and not send them to other websites, then have sponsors on your blog might not be the best idea.

What do you have to offer your sponsors?

Do you have a high number of monthly visitors? Or maybe you don’t have that many visitors to your blog, but you have a large twitter following and you’d like to offer your sponsors a shout out. One way or another, you need to figure out what you have to offer to other blogs and businesses that might be valuable to them. If you have no traffic, no following and your sponsors aren’t going to get any benefits from paying to be on your sidebar or to get a shout out to your 23 twitter followers, then you’re not ready.

Do you have time to manage and connect with your sponsors?

Accepting sponsors isn’t just slapping a new ad up in your sidebar once a month. In order to be a good business owner, and yes, that’s what you’ll be if you start getting paid by sponsors to advertise on your blog, you need to take the time to connect with your sponsors, keep up with what their needs are as well as manage the ads and any other extras you might offer them. For some people this might just take an extra hour or two a month, but if you really want to go above and beyond it will likely be much more time-consuming than that.

What kind of sponsors will you allow?

If you blog about your design business (like I do), will you accept other designers aka competitors? If you’re a style blogger will you accept ads from food blogs or printing companies? Not only do you have to take into consideration what types of sponsors you personally want to work with, you also need to consider what kind of sponsors your audience will like. If you’re a wholesome mommy blogger, you might not want to accept a sponsor that sells sexy clubwear.

Is it worth the money?

It’s very likely you will work harder than you think and make less than you expect, at least in the beginning. I accepted sponsorships years ago, way before my traffic was high enough and only charged $5 per ad because I wanted to be able to start somewhere and say that I made money blogging. I did get a few sponsors, but I worked hard for those sponsors and it not only wasn’t worth the $5 in terms of hours worked, it wasn’t worth cluttering my blog with ads for so little money.

Right now, for me, sponsor ads aren’t really part of my blog plan. Of course, this is subject to change in the future if I feel like it’s the best thing for my business and readers.

Do you accept sponsors on your blog? Do you have any questions or tips?

a few of my favorite things // july

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The blogging world, or life in general, is full of wish lists, photos and visual collections of things we’d love to have. In my effort to simplify, get back to the basics and love what I have, I’m going to regularly be sharing a few of my favorite things (and maybe some non-things). As in, things that I love that are already part of my life, rather than things that I’m lusting after.

My Vegetable Garden Look at that vibrant, healthy zucchini plant! That’s the first plant, out of at least a dozen, that I’ve attempted to start from a seed that has gotten this far. I generally either forget about them or give up when they refuse to grow. Funny thing is this (not so little anymore) guy seemed to stop growing, but my husband kept watering him when I was ready to give up and look at it now! We also have a tomato, a red bell pepper and a yellow bell pepper plant, but those were purchased from home depot to ensure I’d have something to harvest if my seedlings failed.

Bralettes I hope I don’t offend anyone for throwing a picture of them on here, but these are kind of like my anti-bras or my girly sports bras. I’ve been looking for some cheap, lacey bralettes for months because I didn’t want to shell out a lot of money for such a simple piece. I ended up ordering three of these from Amazon and I am in love with them. I have been living in bralettes for the past month now and probably need to purchase a few more. They are just so comfortable and the lacey aspect still makes me feel a little feminine. I’m over push up bras and underwire, for the most part, and am all about comfort with a hint of pretty.

Not Quite Green Smoothies Technically these are “green” smoothies in the sense that I always put greens (mostly spinach) in them, but thanks to the color that berries add they almost never end up green. My day almost always starts with a green smoothie and when I skip a few days I truly feel it in sluggishness and just overall not feeling as healthy and light. I start with a base of spinach, almond milk, a banana and a scoop of brown rice protein powder. From there I add whatever I feel like from watermelon to frozen mango to blueberries.

S’Mores On the totally opposite side of the healthy food spectrum from green smoothes: s’mores! Oh man. We just bought some supplies for this, including giant marshmallows, and it’s going to be hard not to have one every single day. And if I do? I will savor each bite. Who invented s’mores and where I can I shake their hand and/or scold them for creating such a sinful treat?

What are a few of your favorite things? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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