August 29, 2013

Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

This article is sponsored by Zephyrhills® Brands Sparkling Natural Spring Waters.

The end of summer is near and even here in Florida I have noticed a variation in temperatures over the past week. All of my local friends were taking their excitement to facebook when they announced nighttime lows in the high 60s for this week. For me this means I need to squeeze in the last few trips to the beach before the water turns cold, grab ice-cream with the kids and drink a few more summer citrus beverages before it is time to bust out the hot cocoa. I always say that I miss Illniois the most during Fall.

As an ode to summer I am sharing one of my go-to summer drinks – a sparkling limeade spritzer.

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Ingredients:

Fill your glass with ice and then add two capfulls of sweetened lime juice. Squeeze in a few wedges of lemon and lime. Add one part lemonade and one part Zephyrhills® Brands Sparkling Natural Spring Waters. Put a pretty straw in and sip your mid-week craziness away! Making myself a fun drink with a cute straw is how I feel good during the middle of the week!

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Easy Sparkling Limeade Spritzer

Is it starting to feel like Fall where you are?

Enjoy,

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August 28, 2013

Life Inspired Link Party #8

Welcome back to another week of Life Inspired! I featured some of my favorites from last week’s link party HERE. I can’t wait to see what you have to share with us this week, but first I wanted to share what the other hosts and I have been up to!

sharing

1. Easy Game Day Decorating and Printables from Balancing Home
2. Loaded Baked Potato Soup from Poofy Cheeks
3. Chocolate Chip Cookie Waffles from Sweet C’s Designs
4. Craft Room Cabinet Tutorial from Sew Woodsy
5. Weekly Planner Printable from While They Snooze

If you haven’t entered the two giveaways going on this week be sure to stop by {this post} to enter the Back to Blog School giveaway and {this post} to enter the Martha Stewart Decoupage giveaway.

Martha Stewart Decoupage Giveaway

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Enjoy,

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August 27, 2013

Back to Blog School: Making Money with Affiliates

There are a few ways to make money blogging and today I am talking about how you can make money by working with affiliates. On most large company websites you will see an affiliate link at the bottom – you know the real tiny links you can barely read. There are also sites who connect website owners and affiliates. The key to success when choosing affiliates is to pick companies you know your readers will be interested in and a company you are passionate about.

Make Money Blogging by Using Affiliate Links

I personally like to change things up on my blog every now and then but some of the companies I have affiliate accounts with include Pick Your Plum, GroopDealz, GoDaddy and Firmoo. I am passionate about all four companies and have personally purchased things from all of them. I have made the most money with Pick Your Plum and GroopDealz and made hardly any money with GoDaddy or Firmoo. This makes sense to me. As a craft/lifestyle blogger most of my readers come to me for creative ideas and recipe not for glasses choices and web hosting suggestions. After a few months of having little luck with GoDaddy and Firmoo I got rid of their links on my blog because I realized they were not a fit for my blog or my readers – no hard feelings.

Are you wondering how affiliate links work? All companies are a little different but for the most part the company gives you a special link that is unique to your account with them. Whenever someone clicks on that link and then (if they) make a purchase from that company you make a percent of the sale. Most companies are different as to how much they pay and how long they track your unique code. For example, I might share what Pick Your Plum is selling with a link on my facebook page and if a person buys something from their site that day or within a few days from then I will still make my percentage because of internet cookies.

They way I personally like to share my links is by adding them to my sidebar, linking my code within blog posts where they fit but mostly through facebook IF I really like something an affiliate is selling and I believe the price is right. For example, I love the twine, cupcake liners and treat bags on Pick Your Plum and I usually share those, but if I am not overly excited about what they have running that day I won’t be sharing it. I take the relationship I have with my community seriously and don’t want to suggest something I wouldn’t even buy myself. Does this make sense?


Another way to find affiliates is to work through sites such as Share-A-Sale. They work with companies like Gymboree. Tiny Prints, ModCloth, Zulilly, One Kings Lane, Craftsy and many more! I just started using them a few months ago and so far I like the flexibility and options they have to offer.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask – sometimes I forget how much I have actually learned on my blogging adventure and I don’t want to leave any important questions unanswered! To see other blog tip posts go HERE.

Enjoy,

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Inspire Me Tuesday #7

I have done a bunch of cooking but not much crafting this week. My husband came home from the hospital on Friday and is doing really well. He is on a soft foods diet for the next few days and I have cooked just about every soup recipe in my recipe box. Sunday we walked down our street to a dead end where we take the boys to ride their bikes and the past two days he has walked Mason into school. His doctor wants him to start introducing solid foods and walking a mile in the morning and a mile in the evening within the next few weeks so we are taking it slow and working our way up to it.

So as you can imagine I haven’t had much time to craft or create lately so I am living vicariously through all of your links from last weeks Life Inspired Party!

 

Ice Cream Tacos from Your Home Based Mom

Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Tacos from Your Home Based Mom

Cars Play Mat from Persia Lou

Cars Play Mat from Persia Lou

No-Cook Lemon Berry Crisps from Second Chance to Dream

No-Cook Lemon Berry Crisps from Second Chance to Dream

Lazy Susan tutorial from The Colored Door

Lazy Susan tutorial from The Colored Door

Milk and Cream table from Art is Beauty

Milk and Cream table from Art is Beauty

White Distressed Kitchen Shutters

Kitchen Shutters from Vintage News Junkie

Caramelized Pears Bacon & Brie from The Crafty Woman

Caramelized Pears Bacon & Brie from The Crafty Woman

 

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Enjoy,

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August 26, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe

One of my favorite soups is loaded backed potato soup. It is one of those soups that take a bit of time but the end result is worth every second! On cold fall evenings after the high school football games a group of us kids and our parents would end up at my parents’ friends house and one time they had a big crock pot of this delicious soup. My mom got the recipe and a few years ago I got it from her. We didn’t really need to do anything to tweak it but I do add a bit of garlic to mine.

I actually shared the recipe for the loaded baked potato soup on my blog a few years ago before I really knew what the heck I was doing on this ole blog. Since I made a batch of it last night I decided to give it a little update!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup #potato #soup #recipe

You will need the following ingredients:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs. white potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 small yellow onions (diced)
  • 3oz package real bacon bits (I used the Oscar Meyer package found in the salad dressing isle)
  • 3 stalks of celery (diced)
  • 4-6 tsp. chicken granulated bouillon
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 sticks margarine
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • cheddar cheese and whatever toppings you like!

Directions:

  1. Place peeled and diced potatoes in a pot of water and boil for 10 minutes until tender. Then strain and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Saute onion and celery in olive oil until they are translucent and tender. Add to the bowl of boiled potatoes.
  3. In a large pot add milk, water, salt and pepper, whipping cream, and chicken broth and chicken bouillon. Heat until very hot but do not boil.
  4. Meanwhile, melt margarine in a sauce pan. Once margarine is melted add flour and mix well. Allow the mixture to bubble while stirring for one minute. (Flour mixture should be like a paste – you may need to add more margarine or flour to get the consistency.)
  5. Then add half of the flour mixture to the milk and water mixture. Stir constantly. Keep adding the flour mixture and stir until it starts to thicken. Once thickened add in the potatoes, celery and onions and the bacon bits.
  6. Serve with your favorite baked potato toppings!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup #potato #soup #recipe

Loaded Baked Potato Soup #potato #soup #recipe

Loaded Baked Potato Soup #potato #soup #recipe

Seriously this stuff is AMAZING! I can’t look at another potato soup the same anymore. I even eat the leftovers and I am a leftover snob!

Enjoy,

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