Why The “Tolerance” Argument Does Not Apply to The Duggar Family
November 21, 2014
Recently, TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting matriarch Michelle Duggar has come under fire leading to a growing petition requesting the removal of 19 Kids and Counting from television. The reason for the sudden backlash is the Duggar’s stance against the LGBTQ community, which is a much more active, concentrated Duggar priority that previously believed. Anyone who has watched the TLC show knows that the Duggars are conservative Christians who apply very strict Biblical views to their daily lives. They’ve been known to use code word “Nike!” when a less-than-modestly-dressed female passes the men in the family, alerting the boys to avert their eyes and look at their shoes instead. People who aren’t religious, at all, find the Duggar family entertaining because, well, “Nike” is ridiculous, the girls had 80s hair well into the 2000s and wear old, tattered clothes that are a headdress away from a burka, and, in the nicest way, the rest of society sees the Duggars as zoo animals: very interesting from a cage, but not something you want to see in the wild. For some reason, conservative Christians seem to think that 19 Kids and Counting is helping them spread the “word of God” to new people, but, really, the majority look at the Duggar family as a freak show, and that’s why they’ve been on TV for so long (is this really a surprise? They’re on the same network as Honey Boo Boo, Extreme Cheapskates, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, the list goes on…).
Now, conservative Christians (who still aren’t in on the joke) are upset that society is being “intolerant” of the Duggar family’s discriminatory, hateful views of the LGBTQ community. They’re speaking out against the Duggar “haters” and insisting that the Duggar family continue to hold a seat at the public table. They cry for “tolerance” for their Christian views, but what they don’t realize is that the “tolerance” argument does not apply to the Duggar’s point of view, and here’s why:
1. The Duggar Family, and those like them, want their values to be more important than those with different views.
Unlike the LGBTQ community, who have offended the Duggar family by requesting protection from discrimination when using public toilets, the Duggars and likeminded religious individuals are suggesting that the laws in our country should be in line, only, with the conservative Christian values the Duggars follow. In the United States, we’re supposed to have this thing called freedom of religion, which does not mean “freedom to trample others with your religion” or “freedom to impose your religion legally on others” or any variation of the sort. It means that you are free to practice your religion – just as free as someone who does not want to practice a religion or who practices a different religion.
2. Persecuting the LGBTQ community by denying legal rights is ignorant and intolerant.
The Duggar family and its faithful fans believe that denying political and legal rights to the LGBTQ community is an appropriate stance to have, but, historically, denying political and legal rights to people, no matter their background or beliefs, is a very, very ugly thing. We’ve seen it with civil rights movements in the past, and, interestingly, it never ends with the grumpy, anti-progress agenda winning the argument. Time and time again, history has proven that persecuting a group of people by discriminating against a community is wrong and won’t be tolerated. We have laws about civil rights, hate crimes, and discrimination. Those laws will continue to grow in order to ensure that hateful, ignorant people cannot use the law in order to punish people for the way they were born or the harmless, different choices they make.
3. No matter what happens to the LGBTQ community or 19 Kids and Counting, the Duggars are still free to practice their religion.
This seems to be a huge part of the “tolerance” for the Duggars movement that is overlooked. No matter what happens to their television show or how the LGBTQ community is affected by laws, the Duggar family is not at risk of having its religion taken away. Also, the Duggar family will not be losing any legal or political rights at all by being told to leave the network. The Duggar family is not entitled to have a TLC show; they’ve been graced by a loyal following, creating great ratings for the TLC show, and that’s why they’ve been on television for so long. If the ratings are going to suffer, the network will cut the deal. It’s business.
The way to get ahead in life is not to push others down in order to pull yourself up. There’s no need to deny another human being the same legal rights that you enjoy in order to keep yours. There’s room at the table for everyone, but this idea of tolerance seems to be lost on the Duggars and other conservative Christians. Their insistence on taking away or withholding rights from the LGBTQ community, women, and people of other religions is what’s hurting them – it’s not a lack of tolerance from the public for the Duggars, it’s intolerance from the Duggar family that has created this backlash.
So, if the Duggar family can teach us anything, let it be this:
Tolerance has been shown to the Duggar family for their views, and it’s time that the Duggar family, and those like them, demonstrate tolerance for other people’s views, too – especially the LGBTQ community.
When I was in college, I took a writing class and met a classmate who was transgender. He was undergoing a change from biological female to male, and he was “passing” (as in, I thought he was definitely, always a man, not born a woman). There was nothing “evil”, “perverted”, or “demented” about him – he was just a normal college student struggling to find his place in the world. This is something we can all relate to, and although I was born a female and continue to identify as a female, that did not prevent me from relating to my classmate on an honest, real level of friendship. During this writing class, my friend was working on a memoir while writing an active blog about his transgender journey. He wasn’t making such a drastic change to his appearance on a whim; he had struggled with his gender identity his entire life. His own family didn’t understand him at first. It took a long time for them to come around and accept him for who he was, which, really never changed: he was their child, their sibling, their cousin, their love in motion. I’m happy his family finally found a way to once again share the love they’ve always had for him, but many people aren’t so lucky. Their families don’t understand, or even try to understand, their struggles with sexuality and gender. Their families and their peers make their world a cold, unloving place by continuing a cycle of ignorance. Sadly, many members of the LGBTQ community end their own lives. In fact, children and teenagers, in grades 7-12, who identify with the LGBTQ are twice as likely as their peers to commit suicide. Tolerance and love can change this; hate and fear mongering cannot.
We need to stop allowing intolerant people to decide what society tolerates.
PS: If you don’t realize how hateful the Duggar & friends camp is, please feel free to read their petition here. The Duggar family, and the conservative Christian camp, think that they are “defending traditional family values” by fighting the LGBTQ community. This type of rhetoric is hateful, discriminatory, and ignorant.
UPDATE: If you don’t understand just how disgusting the #DefendtheDuggars movement is, here are a few Tweets from Duggar supporters…
Let’s pick on a decent, law-abiding family because they love the sinner, hate the sin. Forget that Islamists murder gays. #DefendtheDuggars
— LetsLootPotteryBarn! (@GOPMommy) November 22, 2014
Yeah, because “murder gays” is totally tolerant and acceptable…NOT.
#DefendtheDuggars because most women wld not want a biological man in the same dressing room as them. #tcot — Suzanne Fortin (@Roseblue) November 22, 2014
Yeah, last time I checked, public restrooms and public dressing rooms have private partitions. What’s the big deal? Also, civil rights.
Again, people, civil rights. You can’t “discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender or sex”. No one is attempting to create laws that discriminate the Duggars – they’re creating laws that protect people from discrimination because of their gender identity.
Pasta Fazool (Fagioli) a.k.a. Pasta Frugal
November 21, 2014
“When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool,
Dean Martin said it, so it must be true.
I cannot tell you how delicious Pasta Fagioli is. It reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of my grandmother. It reminds me of why I fell in love with cooking in the first place.
This is a sentimental, classic dish for me. I did not grow up with a lot of money, but I can promise you that I not once felt deprived. This dish may cost a whopping $4.00 for 4-6 servings. In addition to being extremely cost effective, it’s absolutely delicious and a keepsake in my family. And although my grandmother likes to keep all her recipes secret…
I cannot hold it in! I want to spread the word to everyone. And I really feel like I am doing society a favor. You see, when I do a simple search for “Pasta Fagioli,” I don’t get the images of my grandmother’s kitchen. I get a glorified bean soup. And if you’re looking for a soup, don’t use this recipe. My family’s version of pasta fagioli is truly a creamy pasta dish. It’s decadent, rich, and hearty. It’s seriously the best ever.
Some of you may think it has a reminiscence of Penne Alla Vodka; you’re right in it’s orangy, cream display, but I assure you–there’s no vodka (damn it!) or heavy cream.
What gives my family’s Pasta Fagioli the gold medal is…
And did I mention it’s not really at all hard to master? Ladies and gents, I present to you…
Pasta Frah-guhl (Pasta Fagioli)
Cast of Characters:
Four (or five!) cloves of garlic, minced (I use a garlic press–why stink your fingers?)
Two cans of Cannellini (White Kidney) beans
Two cans of Tuttorusso Sauce (or your favorite red sauce)
1 yellow onion (diced finely)* (Optional, but it tastes great! I almost think it’s necessary)
3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or more–who’s counting?)
1/2 cup of parmigiana cheese grated (but probably more!)
1 box of Penne/Rigatoni (the mini penne is good for this too, or any other favorite pasta)
Two empty cans filled with water (use the old sauce cans)
Tablespoon of basil (dried)
Tablespoon of oregano (dried)
Four leaves of fresh basil** (Optional, but amazing!)
Salt and pepper to taste
1.) As in all things Italian, put olive oil in a sauce pan and put minced garlic (FRESH!) at least four cloves–five if you dare. If you desire, dice up onion and saute garlic in the same time. Your pot should be at a medium heat (don’t go too high!)
2.) If you feel inclined, start boiling your pasta water. If not, get your water ready in a stockpot , and salt it generously.
3.) While the garlic is browning (NOT BURNING), open both cans of cannellini beans.
4.) If you’re my mother, you won’t rinse the beans. If you’re me, you will. It’s your call.
5.) Half of the beans you will leave whole, and the other half you will mush up into a paste by using your fork. Make sure you mash it well–this is what makes it creamy and lavish as opposed to soupy and dull.
6.) Stir the garlic and onion in the pot to assure even cooking. When the garlic is starting to caramelize and not BURN, pour two cans of red sauce into the sauce pan.
7.) Stir occasionally, and in about five minutes, pour the whole beans and the bean paste. Please drop carefully–don’t plop it in! You’ll notice it’s starting to turn orange. Who would have thought that red and off white would make an orange color!? Then when all is simmered calmly, fill two empty tomato sauce cans with water and add to the mix. You may only add one if you want it even thicker–you could hold off on the one can to see the consistency.
8.) For about a half an hour, stir occasionally. At this time, you should add your spices and fresh basil. Do not forget to stir! Wipe down the sides as the beans can coagulate on the sides of the pan. Make sure the heat drops to a low simmer to thicken.
9.) As it becomes more orange, add a half cup of parmigiana cheese. Make sure you stir occasionally so it does not stick even further. While doing this process, your water should be boiled (or parboiled if you picked the earlier option of doing it ahead of time).
10.) At this point, taste and season to appease your senses. Add more cheese (like I would) until it has that perfect balance of savory and salty. Drain your pasta when it’s al dente, and pour into the stock pot. Mix well, and serve immediately.
Please sprinkle more parmigiana cheese on top. It’s your civic duty!
P.S: This tastes EVEN better the next day, so don’t be afraid to make it as a make-ahead.
Pasta Fagioli Recipe
Super easy and super cheap, pasta fagioli is a dish the whole family will enjoy!
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 2 cans Canelli (White Kidney) beans
- 2 cans Tuttorusso Sauce (or your favorite pasta sauce)
- 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiana cheese
- 1 pound box of Penne or Rigatoni
- 2 cans water (empty from beans or sauce)
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 4 fresh basil leaves (optional)
- 1. As in all things Italian, put olive oil in a sauce pan and put minced garlic (FRESH!) at least four cloves–five if you dare. If you desire, dice up onion and saute garlic in the same time. Your pot should be at a medium heat (don’t go too high!)
- 2.) If you feel inclined, start boiling your pasta water. If not, get your water ready in a stockpot, and salt it generously.
- 3.) While the garlic is browning (NOT BURNING), open both cans of cannellini beans.
- 4.) If you’re my mother, you won’t rinse the beans. If you’re me, you will. It’s your call.
- 5.) Half of the beans you will leave whole, and the other half you will mush up into a paste by using your fork. Make sure you mash it well–this is what makes it creamy and lavish as opposed to soupy and dull.
- 6.) Stir the garlic and onion in the pot to assure even cooking. When the garlic is starting to caramelize and not BURN, pour two cans of red sauce into the sauce pan.
- 7.) Stir occasionally, and in about five minutes, pour the whole beans and the bean paste. Please drop carefully–don’t plop it in! You’ll notice it’s starting to turn orange. Who would have thought that red and off white would make an orange color!? Then when all is simmered calmly, fill two empty tomato sauce cans with water and add to the mix. You may only add one if you want it even thicker–you could hold off on the one can to see the consistency.
- 8.) For about a half an hour, stir occasionally. At this time, you should add your spices and fresh basil. Do not forget to stir! Wipe down the sides as the beans can coagulate on the sides of the pan. Make sure the heat drops to a low simmer to thicken.pasta3pasta5
- 9.) As it becomes more orange, add a half cup of parmigiana cheese. Make sure you stir occasionally so it does not stick even further. While doing this process, your water should be boiled (or parboiled if you picked the earlier option of doing it ahead of time). pasta6pasta2
- 10.) At this point, taste and season to appease your senses. Add more cheese (like I would) until it has that perfect balance of savory and salty. Drain your pasta when it’s al dente, and pour into the stock pot. Mix well, and serve immediately.
Please sprinkle more parmigiana cheese on top.
Alyssa Milano and Kim Kardashian: Neither Image Should Be Offensive
November 19, 2014
Alyssa Milano recently spoke out about Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover, writing that while Kardashian looked fabulous, people were more outraged over her breastfeeding selfie. I’m pretty sure Milano jumped the gun, because people were outraged about Kim Kardashian West’s nudity and how “she’s a mom”, therefore she should wear a mumu at all times. The problem I have with Milano’s outrage is that it’s misplaced. She tweeted:
“Wait! I don’t get it. No disrespect to Kim but…people are offended by my breastfeeding selfies & are fine with her (amazing) booty cover?”
Uh, what planet have you been on Milano? People are not fine with it. They’re shaming Kim Kardashian West for being “a mom” and setting a “bad example” for her choice to pose nude.
But people should be fine with it. And they should be fine with Milano’s photo, too.
We seem to be living in some weird time in history where the term “feminist” has been twisted into “act this way, or you’re not being a good example for women”. Posing nude and choosing to stay at home with your children, while very, very different decisions, are both on the “how dare you” spectrum of pop-culture feminism. Women who don’t cover up, hate men, and bleed corporate are considered anti-feminist. But, that’s not true. Feminism is all about empowering women to make their own choices, no matter how different their choice might be from yours. If Alyssa Milano wants to take a breastfeeding selfie, she should be allowed to share it and display it as she sees fit. It’s her body, her mind, her choice. People have the choice whether or not they want to look at the photos, but there’s nothing obscene about Milano’s breastfeeding selfie. It’s something she feels good about and wanted to share. The same goes for Kim Kardashian West. She wanted to pose nude in Paper Magazine, so she did it. Her decision has nothing to do with what kind of mother she is; she’s an adult, free to make her own choices about her body.
We have to stop picking apart what we think is an acceptable choice for women. The acceptable choice is always the choice a woman makes for herself. Whether she’s famous or the girl next door, it’s her prerogative to do what she wants with her adult life. If you’re a homemaker and you enjoy it, great. That’s your right and choice to make. If you want to work outside the home, fantastic. You go climb that corporate ladder. If you want to take your clothes off for a magazine after you’ve left your kids with the nanny, awesome. Don’t apologize for it. Great moms come in all shapes and sizes, and they raise fabulous people who grow up and become an interesting, diverse group of adults. We’re not all vanilla, but if you’re vanilla, that’s okay, too.
The point is: neither Milano, Kardashian, or any other woman should be shamed for the choice she makes about her own body. If you don’t like it, turn the other cheek.
October 2014 Income Report: $407.32
November 18, 2014
Last month, I was really scared. I posted my first ever income report, and this little voice in the back of my head kept saying, “What if you don’t top September in October?” I was really worried that after all my hard work, my income would decrease and I would regret my decision to start an income report series. I’m overwhelmingly happy that this was not the case. September’s income was $343.55, but for the month of October 2014 I earned $407.32! I’m going to share with you just how I did that, but first let me just do a happy dance about increasing my revenue 118% in one month and exceeding my original goal (as determined by IBN’s Monetize 45 Challenge) of $109.23 for October 2014 by nearly $300.
If I can do it, you can do it, too. I’m not going to lie: it’s been really difficult for me to buckle down and get super serious about monetization. And it’s scary, but take the plunge. You’ve got nothing to lose.
In the month of October 2014, I earned income from blogging with the following programs:
1. IZEA: $4.88
IZEA calls itself the Sponsorship Marketplace, and it makes things super easy for bloggers/content creators. Although $4.88 doesn’t seem like a whole lot of income, during the month of November I’ve already made triple that just from writing a couple Tweets. I earned $2.44/Tweet and did 2 Twitter Tweets with IZEA in October. I was so excited about IZEA that I signed up for pro, which definitely increased my visibility on the site. For $5/month, you will be a preferred IZEA member and IZEA will refer you to advertisers. It’s worth it, in my opinion, but they also offer a $1/month plan and a completely free plan, so it’s definitely worth signing up and checking it out! Sign up for IZEA here.
2. Google AdSense: $22.74
So far, October was my best month ever for Google Adsense, though I hope to increase my earnings soon since October was my highest traffic month on record – a trend I really hope continues in the following months and years.
3. Amazon Associates:$6
Every dollar counts! Amazon’s affiliate program has earned me $6 in October just by placing links in blog posts to products and special incentives.
4. Linqia: $71.20
Linqia is an absolutely great ad network for sponsored posts if you blog about parenting or home/garden topics. In October, I did a sponsored post for Direct Energy and earned over $70 for the traffic driven to the post. Sign up for Linqia here.
5. Freelancing: $302.50
Although I hope to decrease this number and increase my other revenues, right now I’m putting my blogging skills to use for other blogs and companies by using my talents to produce/write blogs and manage social media for clients. This is, by far, my biggest blogging-related money maker, but it’s definitely a lot of work.
This brings my grand total to $407.32 for October 2014, and I hope I top it in November!
I didn’t earn from these platforms in October, but the following are worth checking out from September and previous months:
Influenster allows influential bloggers to connect with brands in exchange for perks and VoxBoxes. You can email me or comment for an invite to Influenster, which will automatically add a little boost to your Influenster Impact Score, or you can just sign up on Influenster.com. My favorite Influenster perk so far has been my Victoria’s Secret VoxBox, which included $115 worth of VS Sports merchandise.
A great resource for female bloggers, SheSpeaks will send products in exchange for reviews/social media shout outs.
Diapers.com and its network of affiliated sites offer referral credits in exchange for simply sharing a coupon code and posting a banner. I’ve earned almost $200 from Diapers.com to use on any of their websites, and it’s so easy to sign up.
If you want a great, fast course in monetizing your blog, I really recommend The Inspired Blogger’s Network’s Monetize 45 program. It’s what got me started and taught me everything I know about putting together a realistic plan for monetizing my blog. The best part of Monetize 45 is how quick the process is: in 45 days, you can be on the way to earning money from your blog. The course costs just $59, making IBN’s Monetize 45 much more affordable than similar courses, which run around $300-500. Check out the program and sign up here.
September 2014 Income Report: $343.55
Another week, another giveaway!
November 17, 2014
As we build up to the Keurig 2.0 Christmas Giveaway, this week bottlesoup.com & friends are giving a fabulous necklace. Don’t miss your chance to win by entering below.
The Problem With “She’s a Mom” Outrage Over Kim Kardashian West’s Photos
November 13, 2014
We’ve all seen the NSFW Kim Kardashian West Paper Magazine photos. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I tend to fall on the “it’s art” side of the argument: subjective and open to interpretation. However, many responses to Kim Kardashian West’s latest publicity have been viciously negative in a way that I am not ok with – people are shaming her decision to take nude photos because she’s a mom.
A recent New York Times Op-Ed I shared with my readers via Facebook preemptively addressed this issue. Author Heather Havrilesky’s piece “Our ‘Mommy’ Problem” addressed the defining of women by their reproductive status in an incredibly poignant way. Havrilesky wrote, “Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution. Motherhood has been elevated — or perhaps demoted — to the realm of lifestyle, an all-encompassing identity with demands and expectations that eclipse everything else in a woman’s life.” In short, when a woman becomes a mom, it’s expected that she lose her identity.
Kim Kardashian West is not your average woman (or “mom,” for that matter). However, her role as a mom is something we should talk about, because like Kim, I’m a mom, but I don’t want my role as a mom to be used to attack me or limit my choices as an individual.
We all understand that parents have a responsibility to their children to care for and protect them. We understand that, as parents, we’re the first real role models in our children’s lives. But North West, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West’s daughter, is 16 months old. She’s not looking at Paper Magazine, and if she is, she’s not sexualizing her mother. In fact, most 16 month olds see their moms naked all the time. A mom’s decision to pose nude, run for office, enjoy a night out, or work outside the home should not be under criticism because “she’s a mom”. Fact: moms are people, too. We’re people who are not just moms. We are, in fact, adult people. Imagine that! Many of us have ambitions beyond the playground, but we are shamed into thinking that our lives are no longer our own – that motherhood is the be all, end all of our existence. Once we have children, we’re treated like it’s all over.
That’s not true.
And it needs to change. Now.
Women, who happen to be moms, can be outstanding role models to children by furthering their careers and trying new things. The idea that women, who happen to be moms, can be influential both in and out of the home is something we should not only accept – it’s something we should encourage. Too many moms have felt the painful pull of responsibility hold them back from pursuing other projects. They’ve sacrificed their own wants and needs in order to avoid judgment and socially required guilt.
“Mom” is how your children define you; it shouldn’t be how society defines you. The fact that you are someone’s mom should have nothing to do with how the adult world views your contribution to society. You are not society’s mom. You are not society’s nanny. You are not society’s moral compass. You’re a person, who happens to be a parent. Feel free to pose nude.
Radiance Redefined Make-Up Pouch Giveaway!
November 12, 2014
November is Giveaway month! Starting on November 30th, bottlesoup will be giving away a Keurig 2.0 + surprise prizes valued at over $300. Until then, we’re sharing giveaways from other blogs.
This week’s giveaway is a make-up pouch from Radiance Redefined. It’s a female-owned business that started in April, so if you have any gifting to do this holiday season consider picking up a couple of these adorable and affordable make-up pouches. There are so many choices and for under $10 each it’s a total bargain!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Making the Most Out of Nap Time: A Mom’s Guide to Time Management
November 5, 2014
I’ve gotten a lot of flack for my passionate piece protesting ungrateful SAHMs. Most often, the attacks are unrelated to the post, but something that has come up in the comments multiple times is the question of how I get it all done and maintain my sanity. Here’s a secret: I don’t. That post wasn’t about being perfect; it was about being grateful for the ability to stay at home with your children. And, yeah, here’s a reality check: while you’re home 24/7, you should also be able to get some stuff done. No matter how crazy my day has been, I manage to make and plan all the meals at home. It’s a rare occasion that takeout or frozen pizza is an option. So, when do I find time to cook and eat healthy with a hyperactive toddler and one on the way? I take advantage of nap time.
I’ll admit that my toddler’s naps are inconsistent and unreliable. Some days, he refuses to nap. Other days, he’ll sleep the afternoon away for 3-5 hours. I don’t stress the days that he insists on staying awake. I enjoy those days. I sit on the floor and play with him. I let him make a mess. I cherish it. But on those days where nap time is abundant, I make the most of it. Here’s how:
1. I invested in a bomb dot com crockpot.
When I went to purchase a crockpot at Bed Bath and Beyond, I did not pinch pennies. I bought a top of the line Calphalon crockpot with an abundance of heat and timer settings. When my toddler naps, I put together something fabulous, set my crockpot, and go about my day. It takes about 10 minutes to put everything together for a crockpot meal, then I let the crockpot do the work. There are tons of crockpot recipes on Pinterest, ranging from Paleo/vegan/health-nut status to down home comfort food. There’s really no excuse to not have dinner ready at least most of the time.
2. I maintain a dish washing routine.
Although from the outside looking in it might seem like chaos, I run my dishwasher once a day, specifically before bed. In the morning, I have clean dishes to put away, or I can wait until nap time, or I’ll do it before I load the dish washer again. I don’t give myself an imaginary deadline for dish duty, because believe it or not my husband doesn’t look forward to inspecting the state of the dishes when he comes home. No matter what, the dishes are done every day, and that’s good enough.
3. Limit your space.
I have the unique advantage of living in a smaller apartment, but even if you have a huge home, you should organize and allocate a certain area for playtime/activities. Don’t let your kids take over the house and you won’t have 4000+ square feet to clean on a daily basis. And, yeah, it’s really that easy. Set up a playroom or play area that’s convenient for you to get whatever you need to accomplish in the house done while still keeping an eye on the kids.
4. Prep, prep, prep.
Instead of complaining that you “have no time”, use nap time or bed time for prep time. If your toddler(s) or children need special prep for meals, such as dicing cheese and slicing apples for snacks or even dividing dry snacks into portions, do it during nap time or after bed. The small amount of distraction free time it takes to do this will save you a huge headache the next day when you don’t have to assemble AND supervise.
5. Take advantage of technology.
Whether you need a relaxing break or just truly need more time in a day, use technology to your advantage. There are so many services that are budget friendly and reduce the amount of errands you need to run. Diapers.com, Soap.com, and VineMarket.com are all owned by the same company and will deliver your child-related and household goods to your door – with FREE SHIPPING. That means you don’t need to stress about running out and taking everyone with you. You just need to sit down during nap time with a cup of coffee and pick out what you need. Use code CASS1062 and get 20% off your entire first order.
The moral of the story is: be fair to yourself. Use your time wisely. And if you hate your life, change it. Don’t be a martyr. Be a mom.
Garlic Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potato Fries (Just 4 Easy Steps!)
October 23, 2014
I am constantly on the prowl for healthy, flavorful, affordable side dishes that are easily prepped and enjoyed. Last night, I was tempted to pop a frozen pizza in the oven and call it a day, but then I saw the sweet potatoes on my counter and decided to stop being lazy and just make a real dinner already. I paired these delicious baked sweet potato fries with a pan-cooked ribeye, but you could serve this side dish with chicken or salmon cakes or add some marcona almonds & chèvre and call it a meal.
Garlic Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries
This side dish is the perfect pair for steak or burgers.
- 1 pound organic sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves fresh pressed garlic
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- Prep the potatoes. Cut each sweet potato in half, then put the flat side down and cut into 3 or 4 slices, depending on the side of the sweet potato. The goal is to make all of your “fries” the same size. Place cut sweet potatoes in bowl. Add EVOO, fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper, and mix with your hands until each piece is adequately coated in all ingredients. Pour and spread onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, then turn up the heat to 425 for 15 minutes. Halfway through cook time, turn the sweet potatoes to every side is equally glorious. Remove from oven, let cool, and enjoy! Serve with a chipotle mayo or greek yogurt & honey sauce for added pizzazz.
September 2014 Income Report: $343.55
October 20, 2014
I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and I decided the time was right to start monetizing bottlesoup.com. As I began the process, it was important to me that my readers didn’t feel bombarded by advertisements and sponsored posts. I wanted my audience to feel like they were still receiving the same great, snarky content. In short, I wanted the advertising to be minimal and effective.
In July 2014, I began researching which advertising networks I wanted to use and signed up accordingly (Linqia is my new favorite). Registering and getting approved for different advertising venues can be a long process, so if you plan to start monetizing your blog expect a waiting list before you can truly begin earning money on your blog.
I am very lucky to be a part of the Inspired Bloggers Network, and although I am not a Christian blogger by any means (let’s face it, I’m a closet Atheist who would really rather not get into a religious debate with anyone) I was welcomed into their group with open arms. These ladies and gentlemen are serious, professional bloggers and I love all the advice I’ve received from being a part of their clique. Around the time I was really starting to monetize my blog, Tabitha Day Philen of MeetPenny.com and founder of the Inspired Bloggers Network (IBN), graciously began a Monetize 45 blogger boot camp for all those involved with the IBN. I eagerly read each email and was truly humbled by the experience. I still have a lot to learn about blogging, but here’s what I really took away from Monetize 45:
• You can reasonably expect 10% income growth per month, and you should make that your goal.
• Income is contingent on page views, and page views are contingent on quality, consistent content and diligent marketing
• You can do everything right and still only make $0.03 a month
As disheartening as the last bullet point sounds, I am one of those incredibly stubborn “the rules don’t apply to me” types, and I took it upon myself to just go for it.
July & August were rough. I didn’t have any real guidance from Monetize 45 yet, and I was just sort of winging it. In July, I earned $90.28 from a combination of referral credits, free products, sponsored posts, and cash. August proved more challenging, and I actually made less than I did in July (a mere $70.43, most of which was referral credits from Diapers.com). I felt pretty beat, but I kept reading other blogger’s stories and given my steadily growing traffic, I was determined not to fail.
I’m glad I didn’t give up, because October is proving to be a more profitable month than July and August already. But, this post is about September, and I’m happy to report that in September I hit it out of the ballpark earning $343.55 from my blogging skills alone. Here’s how I did it:
- I joined Influenster over the summer, but I didn’t receive my first VoxBox until September. It was from Victoria’s Secret and valued at over $115. Do I count this as income? Absolutely! I needed a new bra and more yoga pants, anyway. If you want to join Influenster, just as me for an invite.
- I earned $10 in referral credits from diapers.com, and I can use that on any one of their websites. So far, I’ve earned $180 in referral credits and I’ve used it to purchase formula, toys, stroller parts, and even coffee. This is probably my favorite referral credit program as it’s incredibly easy to use and very reader friendly (your code gives first time users a 20% discount off their entire purchase, mine is CASS1062, if you need anything ).
- $26 in Aveda products. I use Aveda hair care products, so this was an awesome blogger bonus for me.
- Google Adsense
- $3.67 in advertising revenue. This was my first month really using Adsense, so I’m happy with that. Plus, October is already looking a lot better!
- Freelance Writing
- $188.88. You might be asking, “What does freelancing have to do with blogging. In short, my expertise as a blogger is what provides me with the opportunity to freelance.
This brings my grand total to $343.55 earned in September 2014.
I hope this post is helpful to other new bloggers who are starting the monetization process. If you’re a blogger with some tips & tricks, I’d love to hear from you! Look for October 2014’s report next month