For Today:

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” -Proverbs 31:27

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cleaning the Kitchen #10 - How to Wash Dishes

Photo courtesy http://freedigitalphotos.net

Washing Dishes by Hand

You can either wash your dishes by hand in the sink or in the dishwasher. For either method you want to scrape food off of the dishes into the garbage or compost bin. 

Fill your sink with hot water, add a couple of drops of liquid detergent soap and add your dishes. Use a cotton dishcloth or sponge to wash the dish surface clean. 

You want to do glasses and fine china separately so as not to damage them. For pots and pans with baked on food take the time to soak them in hot water for 15 minutes before washing.  

Rinse all dishes in hot water and place in drying rack. You can either let them air dry or use a drying towel.

Washing Dishes in the Dishwasher

To prepare dishes for the dishwasher it depends on the type of machine you have. Newer machines are strong enough to wash stuck on food however older machines are not. If you are unsure just rinse the dishes with hot water making sure all food particles are absent. 

For any tough dishes you want to pre-soak them before running them through the dishwasher. To save energy don’t use the dry cycle and dry them yourself with a cotton towel.

Linking up today with Raising Homemakers

How do you wash dishes? Do you make your own dish washing soap? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

31 Days Blog Challenge Week in Review


Week 2 of the 31 Days Blog challenge is behind me. Last week had me a bit frazzled because I had a class, a temporary job assignment, and homeschool start all at the same time. I got through it but do not wish to do it again. 

This challenge unlike the Ultimate Blog Challenge really hones in on making your blog run better whereas the UBC was all about writing consistently. 

Social Media

Choosing social media can be time consuming and a bit overwhelming. I try to stick to two but do include Google+ in there as well from time to time as I have connections on there that I don't have elsewhere. I like to use HootSuite to manage my social media because I can schedule the necessary tweets I need to send to free up my time to socialize on Twitter. 

Forums

I know plenty of forums for crocheting and crafting but really had to search my archives for mom forums. I used to frequent them more often when my boys where younger so I think for now I'll choose just one to get involved in. I already participate in Bloggy Moms so I figured I will stick with them. I like the Blog Dare and the social support I get from fellow mom bloggers. 

Google Alerts

Ever since I learned about Google Alerts from my first go through Darren Rowse's book 31 Days to Build a Better Blog I've utilized it to write articles, blog posts and to keep updated to news in my niches. I mainly use it for crochet but as I'm starting another year of homeschool and Bible study I'll be using it for that as well. 

Opinions

Today was all about opinions so I shared mine on religion and the difference between being free and being bound up. I love where I am right now and although the trials that led me here were great, I wouldn't trade them for anything. They are what make me, ME.

Refresh

It's time to give an old post a makeover. The top post for this blog this month is the Oak Meadow giveway at 87 views. Next is Bible in 90 days day 1 post at 58 views and finally Brainstorming got 42 views. I can't update the Oak Meadow post as that is time sensitive and so is the Bible in 90 Days post. This leaves me with the brainstorming post which is part of this challenge.

When I go deeper into the stats for this post I find that out of 42 page views only 16 were unique. The average time on the post was ~21 seconds with 15 entrants. I'm guessing that means that 15 out of the 16 people entered my blog through the post.

For now I'm not going to update the post as it is still fairly new. I will update the page about the prayer journal as I do have some posts that need to be added tot he series.

What are you doing to keep your blog fresh? 


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Bible in 90 Days Challenge Check-in Week 2


You're on week 2 of your 90 day challenge - How's it going? Are you setting aside time each day to read? 

Don't get frustrated if you get behind, it is a tough habit to develop but one that is very rewarding. 

Remember if you are behind continue to check in both here and on Momstoolbox site to keep your spot in the mentor group. 

Missed a Day? Click here for a link to each days reading. 

Here's the link for the MomsToolBox checkin.(optional) You'll also need to post a comment below to check in with me. (required)

Any prayer requests? Add them below in the comments or contact me with the subject line B90Days prayer. 

Today is the twitter party so be sure to set some time away tonight, even if only 15 minutes, to chat with other participants. Use #B90Days hastag to join in on the chat. (6 pm PST/ 8pm Central/ 9pm Eastern)

You can do this easily with Tweetchat. Just enter the hashtag and you'll see a stream of posts from others. You'll need to sign in to twitter to participate. Thanks to Julie of Dutch Being Me for hosting this. 


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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Are You Free?

Free by Ginny Owens




I grew up in a Christian home. We went to a Presbytarian and Baptist church and for the most part my memories are very nice. We went to Awana's on Wednesday night and church on Sundays.

I'm sure grace was taught somewhere along the line but what I got out of church and my family life was this:

God is big. God gets angry a lot. Jesus died for me. I should be grateful. I'm a bad person.

Awful huh? It's no wonder I struggled with my faith for so long.

I don't think I truly understood Grace until I met my husband in 1993. I'm a sucker for self inflicted pain and depression. It's something I identify with and something I am known for.

It's been a difficult journey but this song - Free, by Ginny Owens is the song I feel shouts out to all the religiousness of my past that 'I am free'.

I no longer have to have all those books on my shelves because truth be told it was those books that made me feel like crap. Always saying I'd never measure up, always giving me more things to do to try and clean myself up for God.

I didn't need more rules I just needed permission to dance. Do you know how long it's taken me to actually believe this?

God doesn't hate dancing! 

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally Friday #7 Week in Review

It's been a very busy week for me. I was blessed with the opportunity to work for 3 days. No, not permanently but it did get me out of the house.

School started Wednesday and man did I forget what it was like to be so busy. I've never worked while homeschooling J. so wasn't prepared for all the prepping his dad and him before leaving for work and then checking the work when I got back. In addition to all the other stuff I need to get done.

Week in Review:

  • Completed 10 articles for a client. 
  • Started to mentor the Bible in 90 Days group 
  • Working on the 31 Days blogging challenge
  • Received $50 gift card for Hellman's Post
  • Hosting 2 giveaways this month which are Homeschool themed. You still have time to enter the Oak Meadow Curriculum giveaway and then the new one which ends in September is Time4Learning
  • Had a give away for reaching 100 fans on facebook (Ruth C. was the winner) 
  • Giveaway winner for my eBook Hooking for Cash was announced. Missed it? You have another chance to win a copy through Mum Made Me 1000 fans giveaway

Prayer Please:

We have a new Wal-mart opening up and my husband who has been out of work since April 2010 applied. I so want him to work, he does too. His self-esteem has taken a hard hit with this recession so it would mean  a lot if he got this job. I know it's not going to bring our family out of the situation we are in but it is a step in the right direction. 

I'm so tempted to apply for a job too. Wal-mart was my last job back in 2007. Not sure my back could handle 8 hours of standing but then last time I lost 50 pounds during my first 3 months without even trying. Which I am pretty sure will help my back problems. 

I almost don't want to hope because it's been one closed door and one rejection after another. I need your prayers to fill in my faith gaps.

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(c) Sara Duggan via SaraDuggan.Blogspot.com

Thursday, August 23, 2012

{Winner} 500 Word Article

And the Winner is 


Ruth C., Congratulations on winning and thank you for celebrating with me on 100+ Fans on Facebook. Contact me with the topic of your article and I'll get it to you within 2 weeks. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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(c) Sara Duggan via SaraDuggan.Blogspot.com 

{Wahm-o-tunity}: Brand Partnerships

Fun Projects, Cool Perks and Nice People

I've been weary doing sponsored blog posts so it's taken me a while to test the waters. I know other bloggers who do sponsored posts with lots of success. I came across One2One Network via another blog, not sure which one, but I am really glad I did.
It is a free blogger opportunity platform in which you are paired up with various companies and tasks. One of my first tasks was to tweet about a contest that a company was having. I don't get paid cash for these although there are networks out there that do pay. 

I do get a chance to earn some great little perks and prizes. Those who participate in the projects are entered into a drawing for a couple of prizes. These prizes can be products, gift cards or other great little perks. You can check out my first perk from that first assignment in my Finally Friday #5 post. 

How Do I Get Paid?

You don't get compensated in cash but you do have opportunities to win prizes like gift cards for participating in various projects. Depending on the project you select you might be given a product to sample or review. 

Where Do I Sign Up?

Visit the site and fill out the form. It is a pretty detailed form so do take your time. You'll need to know your twitter and facebook follower numbers as well as the stats for your website/blog. 

Requirements? 

  • Internet Access
  • Resident of USA or Canada only 
  • Blog
  • Email account you check regularly
  • Disclosure when you participate in a project
  • Follow through on a project you agreed to participate in
  • Active Twitter and Facebook Accounts
  • Willingness to learn (online training in their learning lounge is available at no cost)
To find out more about what goes on at One2One Network you can read their blog, follow them on Twitter and like the on Facebook

Do you belong to a network of bloggers for reviews? Comment below with your favorite ones.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Back to Homeschool Day

Today is our very first day back to homeschool. Our curriculum hasn't arrived yet so we have a temporary packet of work that his charter has sent for him to complete. He'll be reading the Egypt Game, doing a Saxon Math pre-test to determine where he is in math, a couple of art projects and an African country report.



Language Arts:
Day 1: Read "The Discovery of Egypt" and "Enter April" in the The Egypt Game
Free Writing: Journal on the topic of your choice for 10 minutes
Write a paper (at least 3 paragraphs) about a friend who is most unlike you. Introduce your friend. Describe how he/she is different. Explain why your friendship seems to work.

Mathematics:
Day 1: Take the Saxon Middle Grade Placement Test

Social Science/Science:
Day 1: Complete the map of Africa Worksheet. Label the Countries and Oceans

Art:
Half and Half - African animal

Physical Education:
Participate in at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day. Try to do a variety of activities. Keep a daily log of your activity. (Karate)

I want to include Bible in his curriculum to. I'm thinking of using Charter Journal lessons. I used these when my first son was younger.

What Bible curriculum do you use with your child? 

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Cleaning the Kitchen #9 - Taking Out the Trash


Photo courtesy http://freedigitalphotos.net
Simply, gather the trash and throw into your main garbage bin for trash day. Hopefully, you have a compost bin so you are regularly using your discards throughout the week. Be sure that no recyclables are included in the trash. 

Once trash is taken out of bin add water a bit of mild liquid detergent to soak. After 15 minutes scrub clean and dry surface. Add a new trash bag and return to kitchen. 


Do your children take out the trash? 


Of all the chores I have in the house this is the one chore I do not get complaints on. I guess the boys see it as an easy chore. 


How do you clean your trash bins? Do you compost? Comment and share your tips and ideas below. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Facebook Fanpage Celebration

I finally reached over 100 likes on my fanpage. To celebrate this I'm hosting a giveaway. I'll write one article, 500 words max for a very special winner. I'm a bit late in getting this blog post written up, been a very busy article marketer this month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday, August 20, 2012

{Giveaway Ends 9/10/2012}: Time4Learning Online Curriculum Membership 1 Month

Time4Learning.com Giveaway
When I heard that DenSchool was hosting a giveaway for Time4Learning I knew I had to sign up to participate in spreading the word. We used their English and Writing curriculum for J's second semester in the 4th grade.

This was our first year homeschooling J. and so I didn't really know what curriculum to use for him. We homeschool through a charter so used the default state curriculum which for him at the time was grueling. Writing and Math were the subjects he fought me on the most.

Time4Learning was the first online curriculum we used for him. He quickly went through the lessons but was a bit annoyed at what he called 'childish graphics and characters'. He was 9 years old at the time. I think that if he didn't have the influence of his older brother (by 5 years) and the rough first semester of 4th grade he might have thought differently. 

What I liked about Time4Learning:

  • Easy for me to track what he did online
  • Quizzes were graded for me
  • I could skip what was unnecessary for him and move on to the lessons he needed practice with
  • Lesson plans made it easy for me to report to his Teacher 
  • I got a break :)
  • They have a little 'free time' or break section where he could play fun little games and do some Art activities online. This is only available once they complete the required lessons for the day. 
  • Helped us prepare for his Language Arts test and Writing sample (5th grade) 
  • Approved vendor for our charter (California, so might be in other states as well)
  • Lessons for previous grade as well as the grade above are available which made it easy to cover areas he was lacking or ahead in.

What I found to be lacking with Time4Learning:

  • Talking down to the students (as per my 4th grader)
  • Odyssey Writer [how they complete writing assignments] can be better explained, he always had difficulty doing the writing assignments - they would either not get calculated as being complete OR he was unable to access this feature. It was always hit or miss for us. 
If you have a young child, I would recommend trying this if only for one month. (Approximately $20/month) See how your child likes it and then incorporate it into your lessons. They have all subjects including Science, Math, and Social Studies.

You can certainly use it as the main source of your homeschool curriculum but I found it to be better as a supplement. In fact, they have a summer session that keeps kids minds active in math and reading. Try the sample lessons via their free demo and be sure to read DenSchool's review as Mindy has multiple children using this curriculum. 

Time4Learning Giveaway: 

  • 1 month membership for up to 4 children (2 winners)
  • Enter with the Rafflecopter Below
  • Ends September 10th 
  • Hosted by Denschool.com
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is hosted by DenSchool.com and in exchange for posting information about the giveaway on my blog I receive one entry. The review is my own opinion based on our experience with the service.


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B90Days: Day 1

image source: momstoolbox.com
Today is the first day of the Read the Bible in 90 Days challenged hosted by Mom's Tool Box. I've participated in the challenge 2 times in the past with her group and then one time on my own. Although you may want to do this you may not know what type of commitment it entails.

1. Plan For It

There is just no way around this. If you don't set aside a time to get the reading done you probably will not do it. Intentions are great but it is the follow through that is important. To receive daily reminders be sure to like MomsToolBox on Facebook or subscribe to the RSS feed.

2. Pray

Start your time out by praying. It doesn't have to be a long prayer, a simple God, thank you for your Word, will do. Let God and your heart be your guide.

3. Check In

Remember to set reminders to check in every Monday. You don't want to read and miss out on your mentor group or other jewels along the way via the blog simply because you forgot this part.

I like to add these little reminders to my Google calendar so that a pop up will happen 30 minutes prior to the event as well as an email the day before. If you don't know how to use Google calendar just comment below and I'll walk you through it.

4. Communicate

Comment on the blog, this blog, in the facebook group (hasn't been set up yet) and on twitter. If you follow me on twitter (@momwithahook) and on Facebook (SaraDuggan1994) you'll get reminders throughout the day. You can also participate in the weekly Twitter parties with the hastag #B90Days each Monday night at 8 - 9pm CST. On Facebook you can follow Momstoolbox and chat with other participants.

5. Utilize the Bookmark 

Print out the bookmark and place it in your Bible. Check of the readings as you complete them. Tape one to your fridge, your bathroom mirror or even in front of your computer. This keeps the Bible in front of you throughout the day and aids in reminding you to read your 12 pages for the day.

What do you think will be most challenging for you? 

This post is also the List Post for the 31 Days Blogging Challenge
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Read the Bible with Me


Bible in 90 Days

Sign ups are now open for MomsToolBox.com 's Bible in 90 Days Challenge. I've done this challenge twice now and have been blessed each time. 

How many times have you read through the entire Bible? Before the challenge I could say maybe twice or even four times but now I can say 6. 

Each time I read the Bible - cover to cover - Genesis to Revelation - I learn something new. This year I am volunteering to mentor a group through this process. 

A mentor really does help. Both times I had great mentors who encouraged me through the tough days when I just didn't want to read. If I got behind they still said keep going and encouraged me and prayed for me. 

What this Reading Program is:


  • Fast paced reading program 
  • You read about 12 pages per day
  • You have the option of reading the Catholic Bible (special group), the 90 Day Bible, or your Own Bible
  • You also have the option of reading through the Bible cover to cover or chronologically
  • Demanding - you do not want to get behind but you can still participate if you do, just check in weekly
  • Requires you to check in weekly on Mondays via your mentor and on the MomsToolBox site
  • For anyone who wishes to read the Bible and encourage others


What this Reading Program is Not:


  • This is not a reading program that is conducive to study - it's simply reading. If you want to study something further, mark it with a sticky note and continue with the reading program.
  • Not a listening program so no audio Bibles 

Want to sign up? Read more about the program and how Amy started leading these challenges on her blog. Fill out the form and prepare your heart for the most amazing 90 days. 



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Thursday, August 16, 2012

{Blogger Opportunity}: Back to School Nook Color Event

Just a quick post to let you know about a blogger opportunity coming up at the end of the month. If your blog readers are homeschoolers or book enthusiasts this would be a great giveaway to promote.


Sign up's are now open for the Kate n' Kaboodle Back to School Nook Color Event!
This is a free blogger event!

Prize: Barnes & Noble NOOK Color 8GB Memory with Wifi
Dates: Aug.30 - Sept.13

Sign up here!




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Finally Friday #6 - Weekly Review

This week has been a whirlwind for me. School is starting next week so I'm preparing for it both mentally and physically. Just ordered J.'s curriculum, we'll be using 6th Grade Oak Meadow (see the giveaway). I'm so blessed because I wasn't sure they were an approved vendor but they are.

He's also doing track and karate this year for physical education. I want to include Bible someone in there, he's going to fight me on it but I'm hoping to sneak it in with various novels and books.

Wahm Week in Review:


  • Participating in a blog challenge for this blog because it needs a little tlc. 
  • Interviewed my first crochet business for Friday's feature (Todd Paschall of CrochetbyNumbers)
  • Hosting my first giveaway by way of Den School 
  • Shared the leaf stitch which is actually a pretty simple crochet stitch. Would make a lovely dish cloth or face cloth.
  • Published the first 3 chapters of my book "Becoming Fearless"
  • Currently working on a set of articles for a client (10)

Sara's Cool Sites of the Week:



  1. A Jewel in the Making - This blog is by a participant in the blog challenge. I am just drawn to this blog because it's like visiting with a friend. She's a mom of a large family, Christian, and she homeschools. Check out her recipe for apple sauce. 
  2. The Twitter Party Girl - Found this blog when I participated in a twitter party for Papermates this past week. I especially liked her article on paying taxes on your winnings. I think we sometimes forget in all the excitement that we do have to pay taxes on giveaway earnings and prizes. 
  3. Momables - This is another blogger that attended the Papermates party but I found her sight initially through a Pinterest post. She has some great recipes for children. Take a look at these mini chocolate chip zucchini muffins - gluten free. 
  4. Martha Giffen - She is a blogger I met via the Ultimate Blog Challenge last month. I also know her from another Facebook group I'm apart of. She hosted a webinar about publishing your book via Kindle. Great stuff. She is also a real social media buff and you can learn all sorts of twitter tips from her. 
  5. SocialMoms - I have to mention this site (previously Twitter Moms) because it is the site I use to connect with mom bloggers. They hosted the Twitter party I attended this past week. If you're looking to find other mommy bloggers, read great articles, and learn how to partner with companies for PR on your blog - visit the site. They are also accepting original content for blog posts if you are interested. 


What have you accomplished this week? Share in the Comments below. 


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31 Days Day 4 and Brain Storming

image source: http://freedigitalphotos.net
I love it when my brain is just on a creative wave. I can brain storm ideas for hours. I love making mind maps for articles and blog posts. Today as part of the 31 Days Blog Challenge I have to brain storm 10 blog posts. 

Remember yesterday I created an editorial calendar? This will make this part a little easier because I already know the themes I will be writing about. 

One of the challenges about this is that I am suppose to bounce ideas off of posts I've already written. It will be tough for this blog as I haven't really started writing regularly for it yet.

Blog Archives:

  • I started this blog out by hosting a Blog Challenge at the beginning of the year with the 31 Days to Pray for our Spouse book by Ashley Pichea. 
  • Moved onto Christmas - just posting little memories I wanted to keep for times when I feel 'life sucks' to prove to myself that it doesn't.
  • A personal loss 
  • I joined the Blogging for God 40 Day Challenge in which I started writing more consistently. 

Blog Post Ideas:

  • I'll be hosting a mentor group for the Bible in 90 Days challenge so that will tie into the previous challenge I did as well as the encouraging and faith goals of this blog. 
  • I wanted this blog to be about memories and the blessings in my life. I'll tie our homeschool lessons in this and from time to time add a little memory post about our day to day activities. 
  • I'm currently taking this challenge so I'll tie some WAHM posts about blogging opportunities too

Do you plan your blog posts? What works for you? Share your ideas and tips below in the comments. 



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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Thoughts on Becoming Fearless

Becoming Fearless

I'm part of a writing group that just had a challenge to write 1 page for the next 31 days. These would be short books that will be published on the Kindle and sold for .99 cents.

The topic I chose to write about was Spiritual Growth. I have been meaning to write about this for quite some time but fear keeps me from it as it is a very personal topic.

God has seen fit to shower me with his mercy in many areas of my life. I know it could be beneficial for others to hear this story but I don't like sharing my heart.

Well, God pushed me yesterday and the first 3 chapters have been published. I am at a standstill with the book so I figure the book can grow with me and those who choose to participate in the discussion.

I do have an outline for the book but don't really know where to move in the study. I was first thinking I should split the book in two parts. The first part would be the trials - negative things that God has turned into positive things - and the second part would be the ways I use to fight the negative things that keep creeping into my life.

Here are the first 3 Chapters of Becoming Fearless:

1. Spiritual Growth and Becoming Fearless
2. Spiritual Growth and Negative Detoxing
3. Spiritual Growth and Living with Conflict

Are you working on any writing projects? How do you get past the 'Wall' when writing?


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31 Days Blogging Challenge Day 3 - Editorial Calendars

image souce: http://freedigitalphotos.net
Do you have an editorial calendar for you blog? I don't really have one for this blog but I certainly need one. Earlier this year I made one for my crochet blog and then I made one for a blog challenge I hosted on another blog.

They make blogging so much easier. It helps to plan giveaways, sponsored posts, series posts and guest posts.

Today in the 31 Days Blogging Challenge I am challenged to create a months worth of post ideas. I am thinking the easiest way to do this is to create themes for each day. This helps me in planning the posts but also helps my readers as I blog on all sorts of topics. This way they can read what they want and not have to scroll through all the other stuff.

My Editorial Calendar:


  • Sunday - Music Video with a tid bit of what the song means to me
  • Monday - Homeschool post which reviews our previous week
  • Tuesday - Faith based or Encouragement post
  • Wednesday - Keeping Home post which deals with all aspects like cleaning, cooking, crafting, etc.
  • Thursday - WAHM based post where I'll share blogging opportunities, writing opportunities and other  on cost ways to earn a little bit of money on the internet. 
  • Friday - Finally Friday post which reviews my week online and tallies my efforts. At the end of 2012 I will review my efforts and make necessary changes. 

Do you use an editorial calendar? Do you post with Themes or as topics come to you?Leave a Comment below and let me know.

Read More About Planning and Editorial Calendars from my Blog Buddies:


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Cleaning the Kitchen #8 - Cupboards


Photo courtesy http://freedigitalphotos.net
Cleaning cupboards on a weekly basis will be a lot easier than trying to clean the stuck on grime after months of not cleaning. 


For a weekly cleaning use warm water and a bit of liquid dish detergent on a sponge or cotton dishcloth to wipe off cupboards. 

Dry with a towel or microfiber cloth. If you have wood cabinets using a bit of polishing oil will help maintain the shine. 

Glass cabinets can be cleaned with a solution of vinegar and water.

What do you clean your cupboards with? Comment below and share. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

31 Days Blog Challenge Day 2 - Blogging Buddies

image courtesy: http://freedigitalphotos.net
Today I am tasked with the challenge to seek out a blogging buddy. I went over to the Facebook group and there were many people interacting and searching for blogging buddies.

Good thing because my shy nature had me starting down a path of anxiety trying to figure out how I was going to find someone.

No, problem, a quick prayer to God and I not only found one blogging buddy but 3. We are a little group of 4 bloggers all with a similar niche - either faith, craft or homekeeping. 

Blogging Buddies:

Should be interesting to see how we work together and keep each other accountable during the challenge. 

Do you have a Blogging Buddy? Would you like one?



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Monday, August 13, 2012

31 Days Blog Challenge Begins

Today is the first day of the 31 Days Challenge. Today is all about the statistics of the blog. As this is a fairly new blog and a pretty neglected blog my stats are not that great. That's okay though because this is exactly why I decided to join the challenge.

First off, the stats I'll be tracking for the next 31 days (minus weekends) will be my RSS subscribers, number of visitors, average page views, average pages visited, average time on site and the percentage of new visitors. 

Starting Statistics 8/13/2012:

  • # RSS Subscribers - 20 
  • # Visitors - 237 (Unique 160)
  • Average Page Views - 837 
  • Average Pages per Visit - 3.53
  • Bounce Rate 5.49%
  • Average time on site - 3.40
  • Percent New Visits - 64.14%
As an aside my Alexa.com score is a wopping 2,363,694 with 8 link backs. 

Interested in working to improve your blog this month? Join the 31 Days Blog Challenge.



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Friday, August 10, 2012

{Giveaway Ends 8/31/2012} Homeschoolers Oak Meadow Curriculum 1 Year

Image Courtesy: Denschool.com
A little while ago I was introduced to Den School, a homeschooling blog, because of an Oak Meadow curriculum giveaway she was hosting. I was so hoping to win that for my son. I didn't win that time but I do have another chance to win and so do you. 

I've long admired the Oak Meadow Curriculum as it is Waldorf inspired so it integrates art, music, nature, and encourages the child's spirit. They have a couple of free samples on the site if you'd like to preview them. Whether you have a child entering pre-school or 8th grade this giveaway is for them. 

In the Fourth Grade your child will learn Recorder just like Jasmine: 


You can read Victoria's review of the 4th grade Oak Meadow curriculum on the blog. 

About Oak Meadow:

Oak Meadow has specialized in Homeschooling Curriculum for over 35 years.  You can view their bookstore here. There is a Teachers-parent guide that will help you present the lessons as well as some additional resources that you can use. (sold separately)


Prize Information:

They are offering one complete curriculum package to one winner.  Their packages are priced between $118 (preschool) upwards to $415 for upper elementary grades.


How to Enter:

Just enter using the Rafflecopter Form Below. Enter Daily. Ends August 31st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

P.S. Would you like to participate in Homeschool Giveaways? Check out the current blogger opportunities at Den School Blog.


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Linking Up via Blog Walk with @ Home Take 2, Hi It's Jilly, Call Her Happy, and Hayley's World

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why Do I Blog?

Photo courtesy: http://freedigitalphotos.net
Today, as I was preparing to join in on another blog challenge in order to focus the goals of the blog, I am brought to the question of 'Why I blog'.

Why this blog? It started out as a way to record little tidbits of my family life as well as homeschool notes for my son. It's morphed into a catch all with no real purpose at all.

I love to express 'me' without any set focus but I know that in order for you the reader to want to visit and read what I have to say I can't just be self focused in my wants for this blog. 

The 31 Days Blog Challenge will start up on August 13 and the first assignment is to come up with an elevator speech for the blog. This is a 30 second synapse of what this blog is about. 

So far this blog has been an little view into the madness of my brain. I am all over the place in my thoughts with tons of ideas especially when I get a bit 'manic' which has been the case over the last couple of weeks. (bipolar reference) 

I joined a 40 Days of Blogging for God challenge and I kind of got lost with the rest of the group. I think it had to do with the non-focus of my blog. I was just starting to post more regularly here so created a Wednesday Link up on homekeeping and a Friday link up on working from home. These gave me some order but still I feel this blog is a random mishmash of stuff that really doesn't make sense at all. 

Here is the first draft of my Elevator Speech:

Sara Duggan's blog seeks to encourage moms in faith, keeping the home, homeschooling and earning extra income from home. 

What do you think? Does this describe this blog at all? Should this blog center around these things? 


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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cleaning the Kitchen #7 - The Refrigerator

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First you need to unplug the fridge. Next, wipe off dust on the back side. (Coils) Empty the fridge remembering to toss anything that is rotten or past its expiration date. 

Remove the bins and shelves and wash them in the sink with warm to hot water with mild liquid dish soap and a sponge. You can dry the bins and shelves or leave them to air dry while cleaning the rest of the fridge.

With your sponge and cleaner start scrubbing the inside of the fridge. Be sure to get the corners, the door and the part of the fridge close to the floor. Now you can add the drawer bins and shelves back to the inside of the fridge. 

Replace any food you took out and finally, close the fridge and wipe off the sides and front of the fridge.

How do you clean your fridge? Any tips for me? Comment Below and Share. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Finally Friday #5: Wahm Week in Review

Wahm Week in Review:

Another week has passed me by and this is day I gather up all I've done to prove to myself that I'm not wasting my time   record my progress. 

Writing:

I am currently working on another book. I say this as though I'm an author but the reality is I just enjoy writing. My first book 'Hooking for Cash' is now on Kindle and my goal is to add more eBooks to my Kindle library.

My next book is more of a personal book as it goes into my faith and various challenges I've faced and the verses and tools I've used to overcome them. I hope this will be a blessing to those who read it.

Articles:

I wrote two articles for Hubpages this week. I'm doing a series of Home Based Business articles. The first one is making soap from home and the second is selling cupcakes from home. Do you have a specific business you'd like me to write about?

Squidoo Challenge:

Added another lens to my 52 Lens a Year challenge. This time it's a review for a book coming out in September. Of course it is a crochet book but it is one I'm looking forward to reading and practicing. Made the lens Ice Cream Sandwich Day for a Quest.

Crochet Business:

This week Kathryn of Crochet Concupiscence launched her book "Crochet Saved My Life" and so I added her press release to the blog. I also bought the Kindle version so will be reviewing this book soon. If you have ever experienced the healing powers of crochet for depression you'll know what she speaks of when she says that crochet saved her life.

Momwithahook's Journal:

This week I did a couple of posts over on Handmadeartists.com - a place that is a forum for handmade as well as a shopping and selling venue. You can learn so much from the great articles they have on their blog. Shared my completed snake hat which a pattern from Susan,Crochet Addict.


Sara Duggan:

Received a gift from my first One2One Network job. It was to give some social media buzz to a grilling contest and those who participated were entered into a drawing for a grilling kit. Well, I won the grand prize so this past week I got to enjoy some of the fruits of the job. Yummy grilling and basting with the seasoning rub that came in the kit.

Results:

Sold a Namaste bag via Amazon module on Squidoo (should see this in a couple of months)
Sold 1 copy of Hooking for Cash on Kindle
Sold 2 copies of Hooking for Cash via website
July Amazon sales were $3.25 with 7 items sold

Not too excellent - financial goal right now is to earn 40 dollars a day so I'm not doing too well. 

Sara's Cool Sites of the Week:


  1. Writers on the Move - I attended a workshop with Karen Cioffi. I found her via Ezine Articles and love this blog as it teaches about the mechanics of writing as well as the marketing side to selling your work. 
  2. 31 Days Blog Challenge - I will be taking this challenge on for this blog come August 13th. I'm hoping that I will be able to find a purpose for this blog during this challenge. I feel right now it is pretty scattered because I use it as a journal as and as a record of my online writing adventures. 
  3. Free Writing eCourse - Free writing is a practice where you set aside 10 minutes and write. Sarah has a course on doing it using writing prompts. 
  4. AllisonCrow - She's a business coach for creatives. I connected with her via the Ultimate Blog Challenge last month on my Crochet Business Blog and each time her posts come into my Facebook stream it brings me joy. She has a number of workshops as well as a free 52 week journal course. 
  5. NakedVa - I came across this blog on Facebook when she shared a post about how business relates to the Olympics. Her site deals with the realities of being a virtual assistant and you can find interviews with VA's who are successfully making a living. 

That's it for me this week. How was you week? What accomplishments are you proud of? What one way did you move your business forward this week? Comment below and share. 


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cleaning the Kitchen #6 - The Stove & Oven

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For all stoves types you want to clean up spills as they occur. If you don’t get to it right away, no worries just soak the spill with hot water until it is loose enough to clean. 


Cleaning a glass stove top is easy with a liquid detergent, hot water and a sponge. For a regular stove top, remove the top of the stove, the burners, the knobs, and the drip pans. Soak in hot water and soap. If your grime is stuck on you might want to soak them overnight.

For ovens you want to start out by unplugging it. Remove the racks. With your oven cleaner and a sponge or steel wool (check your stove cleaning instructions) scrub the inside of the oven. If the oven has hard stuck on food heat an oven safe pan filled with water for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees.

Using silicon or heat resistant gloves and a grill cleaner scrub the sides, top and bottom of the oven. You can get a more thorough cleaning once the oven is cooled down. If you have a self cleaning stove, remove any food particles you can by hand. Set your oven to clean making sure you open a window to ventilate. Once the cleaning is complete wipe clean.

Finally, scrub the surface of the stove top and oven. Wipe it with a microfiber cloth. To help make your glass oven shine a mixture of vinegar and water will help.

Replace the racks, the drip pans, the burners and the knobs. If your stove is gas check that the pilot is relit, if it is electric, plug the stove back in the electric socket.

What are your stove and oven cleaning tips? Comment below and share. 

http://www.squidoo.com/prayerjournalorganizer

1 John 4: 7-8 NKJV

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

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John 13: 34 NKJV

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."

Disclosure: 2011-2012

I recommend products for which I will receive a commission if you choose to purchase using my link. (Amazon) I also do product reviews for a chance to win a prize. (one2onenetwork)

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