Curly Crafty Mom: How I'm Doing on my 2015 Goals (6 Mo. Check In) and Meal Plan 67

Friday, July 3, 2015

How I'm Doing on my 2015 Goals (6 Mo. Check In) and Meal Plan 67

1. Prayer Notebook.

(One of my IG friends (Lindsay) always shares photos of her mornings spent with God. She is awesome, that's all I can say. :) )

After hard times in January and February, I decided to get back into my prayer notebook once again. I’ve decided to write in it Monday-Friday and then on the weekends I take a break, since we have church on Sunday. I have been writing in it almost every day for a couple of months now and just started to slack off a little the week leading up to our vacation, because I was consumed with getting everything ready for that. I thought about bringing it on vacation, but decided against it and will pick back up again once we are back. I prefer writing in it when I am alone, so I can really focus and I’ll usually work on it first thing in the morning. I have thought about if I will continue this in 2016, because every year I like to set a religious goal for myself. I really enjoy it, so I think I will continue it… but, I really need to add some more bible reading into my life again as I miss the bible study groups I did in 2014 (online and at church) and I even want to do some independent bible reading. Another idea for next year is to read one religious book each month. I am currently following Mix and Match Mama’s blog and she writes about what books she reads each month and several of them are religious books. I am really interested in reading some of these books that she has suggested. I am going to work towards these new goals in 2016 and will do it in addition to my prayer journal. 

At my 3 month revisit on my goals, I had mentioned having the kids start their own prayer journals. This never happened… but, I would like to continue to pray with them before bed each night.

2. Be a More Present Mother.


I am home with the kids all day during the summer, so this one is an easy and hard goal. Easy, because I am with them ALL day… hard, because I still have to clean the house, keep up with my blog, cook all the meals, keep up with my work outs, etc. Which, I have to do all this while they interrupt me every 5 minutes for help finding something, to make them a snack that they can’t make on their own, snuggles or whatever else they may need. :) I feel like when I am busy putting laundry away, even if they are in the room with me… which, my daughter is ALWAYS plastered to my side… is not quality time. I want to work on really focusing on them, really being present. I would say this is the hardest goal I’ve set for myself this year and its hard because life is just so BUSY… so many to-do’s always! We just put up our big pool in our backyard and the kids have been out there all week and they ask me when I’m going to get in and swim with them. I’ve told them no, that I will after out trip… I need to get in with them more and enjoy some time with them in the pool. :) We usually go on a ‘field trip’ each week with my parents to somewhere around St. Louis and I really enjoy this day, because we are all having a fun day together. These ‘field trips’ are some of the best times of the summer! Anyway, I am sure this is a struggle with most moms these days… when I was working, I felt the same way and thought when I stopped working I wouldn’t… but, it seems I am even busier now! So, I am trying to take it day by day.

3. Blog.

(Behind the scenes blog photo shoot! Gotta get that natural light!)

All I can say is WOW. Blogging has really become the real deal for me lately. I joke with my husband and tell him it is turning into a part-time job! I have poured my heart and soul into this blog and countless personal hours and it is really starting to pay off. I am really starting to make some blog relationships with other bloggers and companies, too! I recently did a Mickey Mail post and when I went back and looked at my blog post that I did for it 2 years ago I was amazed at how much I have grown in my writing and photography skills. 

I used to care about numbers… how many Bloglovin’ followers I had, etc, etc. I still care about numbers, but it seems once I hit the 1,000 mark and beyond on most of these (still need 100 followers on FB to meet 1,000), I started to not care AS much. I still care, but I feel I have built up enough followers that it doesn’t need to be my main focus. My main focus now is to continue to provide high-quality posts and photos and the followers will keep on trickling in! AND, I have really started to get excited about my Page Views number on Google Analytics. I used to average around 8,000 and in just the last month it has gone up to almost 13,000 page views! That is huge for me! I know some of the big blogs average 250,000… but, well… I just try to learn from them and I continue to be proud of my own success over here. :) Some ways that I have grown my page views is by providing good content. Recently HomeTalk featured one my burlap canvas with wreath blog post on their site and it had 25,000 views! Another success I had was when Social Fabric liked my Share a Chocolate Coke campaign so much that they paid for ads on Facebook that linked back to my post. My post has gotten almost 4,000 hits so far! 

I have also started to earn an income on the blog and that has been exciting, too! The income has been pretty consistent for several months and that is why I have started to tell my husband I feel like this has become a part-time job. In addition to the income I have been making, I have also been working with companies that want me to review their products for free in exchange for a blog post. I have never enjoyed my closet and accessories or home products as much! Blogging can be so, so exciting! I have started to keep a spreadsheet of what I earn and what products I have received in exchange for blog posts on a month by month case. This does make my job as a blogger busier, because I have to give these companies dates and I need to abide by them and provide high-quality content! I am also a perfectionist, so I probably spend way too much time working on these posts… I aim to please!

I have started to think about starting an Etsy shop more and more and the first idea I had, I decided to scratch… mainly, because the product I would create would take me WAY too long and I just wouldn’t be making enough money off it for the time involved. I have recently thought of a new idea and I will probably start to work on it more once the kids are back in school.

Some blog goals I have currently:
  • Get 2-3 weeks ahead in blog posts, chart these out in an editorial calendar. This WON’T happen until the kids are back in school. They keep me WAY too busy right now. And, it won’t happen if they get sick as much as they did last winter. I don’t even want to go there again!
  • Implement 2 crafts a week on the blog instead of one.
  • Work on my blogging to-do list. This is a list of items to help grow my blog that require a little research and work on my part. The problem is that I am so busy working on content (blog posts) for the blog, that I don’t spend a lot of time working on strategy and growth. I need to stop spinning the hamster wheel, I need to start working on my dreams for this space.
  • Go to a blog conference with some blog friends. This will be hard, because I have never traveled alone and I am my kids main provider.
  • Do an Instagram Loop Giveaway - I have yet to do one of these and I am sort of interested in doing one
  • Continue to work on blog relationships with other bloggers/companies 

Well, that is it. I bet no one has read this far ;) I have also thought about 2016 goals and I still think I want to do MONTHLY goals instead of yearly goals. I have done yearly goals for so long that I am ready for a change.

Now for this weeks Meal Plan:

Meal Plan Week 67

Sunday - Order Dinner In

Monday - Gazpacho and Homemade Bread, recipe HERE

Tuesday - Boiled and BBQ'ed Beer Brats with Corn, Avocado & Tomato salad, recipe HERE and HERE

Wednesday - Crock Pot Pasta with Leftover Homemade Bread, recipe HERE
I've made this several times and it is so easy and tasty!

Thursday - Sunset Paddle Boat Picnic, CAN'T wait! I might sneak some extra snacks on our paddleboat, too... such as some MACAROONS! I have been craving them!
Brian and I do this every summer, I think this will be our fourth summer having a paddle boat picnic with the sun setting in the Grand Basin in Forest Park by the art museum. Even better yet, the put a bottle of Pinot Noir wine in our basket. :)

Friday - Baked Potato Bar
This is always such a huge hit with the kids. I make regular and sweet potatoes with baked beans, bacon, cheesy broccoli on the side.

Saturday - DOUBLE SLEEPOVER NIGHT, pizza to go!
Nathan and Autumn are both having friends over for their first EVER sleepovers. Oh, I hope I get some sleep that night. ;) We will be having pizza and some snacks such as fresh stove top Cub Scout popcorn!
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