Tag Archives: blogs

A Reading Break!

2 Aug

Since time is in extra short supply lately, I haven’t had as much time to write as I’d like, let alone read other blogs! So, I’m taking a little break this Friday to catch up on some posts from bloggers I love, like…

Patty, who just got back from World Youth Day with the Pope in Rio,

and

Stephanie, who just moved from Michigan to Florida on extremely short notice for her husband’s job while 38 weeks pregnant,

and

Olivia, who will be adjusting to her husband working every weekend while he attends classes starting this fall,

and

Stephanie, who is feeling blessed and joyful even though she just moved and a job opportunity fell through while she is six months pregnant!

If you don’t follow these ladies already, please check out their blogs! Also, check out the bottom of my site for more blogs that I love! I’m constantly updating my blogroll, as there are so many great people out there sharing amazing things!  And there are even more that I follow that aren’t listed below. Be sure to check back soon as there will likely be a few more additions!

Have a great weekend! Hopefully our house will be on the market in about a week!

Advertisements

10 FREE, Useful Blogging Resources!

9 Jul

20130708-222517.jpg

If you’ve visited my blog before, you probably know that I like to save money (and, honestly, who doesn’t?), so I’ve decided to share some of the FREE blogging resources that I have found!

Over the course of the past year or so, I have gathered some great information and resources in regards to blogging. I’m constantly evolving as I learn more about websites, writing, and networking.You are likely familiar with many of them, but hopefully there will be one or two on this list that will be new and helpful to you! Please contribute your favorite free/cheap resources below!

First of all, pictures are a must when blogging, so some ideal places to obtain FREE stock images include:

On a side note, if you want quality royalty free images to use/tweak for a header or other purpose, you can purchase photos inexpensively at Can Stock Photo. Unlike other stock photo sites, you can purchase images individually without buying a credit package.

Whether you are designing your own website or want to edit photos, add fonts, or create graphics, you’ll likely need quality editing software. Guess what? You don’t need to invest in Photoshop! Enter these FREE photo editing options:
  • GIMP – I discovered the GNU Image Manipulation Program when I was having difficulty downloading the trial version of Adobe Photoshop for a web design course. I started doing some research online and found this great program! It is easy to download and several tutorials are available, since there is a great community involved with this program. I’ve been able to do pretty much everything on there that can be done in Photoshop!
  • Pixlr – I haven’t used this free online photo editor yet, but it looks to be able to do a lot of what Photoshop does, as well. It also has a mobile app that can be downloaded for free, too!
  • Recite – Easily turn a quote into an image via this site. You can share it on your blog and also various social media sites.
FREE Email options:
  • Zoho Mail – The Lite version is free if you need a professional business email for your domain.
  • MailChimp – Free way to manage e-newsletters for fewer than 2,000 subscribers.

(I’m not quite at the point to need these options yet, since I’m still on a WordPress.com site and haven’t launched my new project yet, but I’m sure these options will come in handy in the future.)

FREE Training Courses/e-books:

It’s amazing what you can get for free when you pay attention! There is no shortage of information online, that’s for sure! If you’re interested in expanding your blog, check out some of these helpful resources:

  • Jeff Goins’ Free 12-Week Blogging Course – I stumbled upon this several weeks ago when Jeff was promoting it on Twitter. I’m actually in the middle of the course right now! I’ve read Jeff’s book, Wrecked, and I’m a big fan! He has things in the right perspective and is very relatable and encouraging! Also, he’s a fellow Nashvillian!
  • How to Make Money Blogging by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom – This e-book is based on Crystal’s How to Make Money Blogging series. I skimmed through some of her posts and there are several helpful tips about the work it takes to grow a blog in order to make a profit.

Of course, these are just two examples of the endless free content that is available in regards to blogging tips. There are entire blogs just about blogging! So much to learn, so little time!

Happy blogging!

Keep Your ChangeThis article is part of my Keep Your Change series. For more money-saving posts, click here!

 

February’s Bloggers in the Spotlight {7 Quick Takes (#7)}

22 Feb

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 207)

I’m linking back up with the 7 Quick Takes crew at Conversion Diary today! It’s been awhile, so I’m glad to be a part of it again! This is also the fourth Friday of the month, which means it is Dreamer in the Spotlight time! So, once again, I’m combining both to bring my list of seven awesome dreamers – blogger edition!

Since I have focused on the topic of vocations quite a bit this month, I figured that it would be fitting to showcase seven amazing bloggers who inspire me with their dedication to fulfilling their vocations. You probably are aware of some of these blogs already (many are regular 7QT-ers), but hopefully there may be one or two that you aren’t familiar with and can check out! Let’s get started!

1. Humble Handmaid

This blog by Erin Franco is one of my absolute favorites! Her tagline pretty much sums up a big reason why I chose to feature her today – “Writing about my “yes” to God’s plan for my life, one late night blogging session at a time.” As a mother in my twenties myself, I can relate to a lot of what Erin discusses. I love the honesty of her posts about trying to be a good parent, wife, and Catholic. Erin’s passion for her beautiful family is evident all over her blog! If you are a young wife/mother and don’t already follow her, DO IT – NOW!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

2. Moxie Wife

First, I have a confession to make! I haven’t read Hallie Lord’s book Style, Sex, and Substance yet! It is on my to-read list for this year, though! I love how Hallie writes as if she’s a friend just filling you in on a great new product she found or linking you to an amazing article, in addition to sharing great advice about being a good wife and encouraging your husband! This is a lovely blog that embraces married life as the vocation that it is!

3. Biltrix

Obviously, blogs are a great way to evangelize and Biltrix is one of the best sites that I have found that does this very thing! The authors- James Stone, Fr. Jason Smith, Fr. Jose LaBoy, and Fr. Joseph Tham- use Catholic teaching and a little bit of humor to shed light on current events and enhance awareness of a variety of topics. Be sure to check out their blog to find out what a Biltrix is!

4. Life Happens When

This convicting, joy-filled blog is courtesy of former English teacher, wife, and mother of two, Leanne Willen. She is also a regular 7 Quick Takes participant! Just like Humble Handmaid, I stumbled upon this blog on Catholicmom.com when she wrote a contributing post that I connected with. She is another woman that I feel I can greatly relate to, since our kiddos are about the same ages! Leanne is frequently challenging herself and others to step outside their comfort zones and enjoy the blessings in life, especially family. I had the privilege of guest posting on Leanne’s blog back in November!

5. The Veil of Chastity

Okay, all you single ladies (repeat and sing it in your head, “all you single ladies”) out there! This blog is for you! Soon-to-be-published author of The Veil, Cindy, blogs about the vocation of single-hood and chastity. (And, also participates frequently in 7 Quick Takes.) She states on the sidebar of her blog, “I pray this blog provides wisdom and hope for single girls!” Cindy did not get married until the age of 38, so she can relate to all the single Catholics out there who are hoping to find that special someone! There is a lot of truth in this blog and it is definitely worth checking out!

6. Captive the Heart

For those single ladies mentioned above who are about to get married, this blog is your next stop! Stephanie Calis, also a contributing author at Ignitum Today, shares great ideas for wedding fashion, receptions, and ceremonies. She also writes wonderful spiritual reflections, and- bonus- I just love her joyful attitude that comes out in her writing! 7QT-ers will probably be familiar with this blog already, but if you are not, be sure to click on her site!

7. Conversion Diary

So, I have to give a big nod to Jennifer Fulwiler, who hosts 7 Quick Takes each Friday! For those reading this who aren’t already aware, she is an atheist-to-Catholic convert and somehow finds time to write, speak, blog for the National Catholic Register, manage a household of five kids (with one more on the way), and, oh yeah, star in a reality show! How does she do it all?! And with such a great sense of humor?! Thanks, Jennifer, for giving all of us Catholic bloggers a place to connect and support each other! (All episodes of her show are now available via her website!)

Of course, there are many more blogs out there that I would love to highlight, so I’m sure a Part II and Part III will be coming in the future. As usual, if you know of someone that should be featured in my Dreamer in the Spotlight series or if you’d like to write a guest post to share your own inspirational story, please contact me!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Who’s your favorite inspirational blogger?