Month

June 2017

My Trip To Disney!- Day 13 (30 Day Challenge)

Day 13 of Katy Widrick’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge asks me to share a place that I have visited before, and would like to visit again.  That answer is easy- Disney World!!!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are solely my own.

My Trip To Disney

I was over 30 the first time that I went to Disney.  The trip was already amazing, but to make it even better, it was the week of my birthday!  And a school week ( I was absent an entire week)!  And my entire family was there!  #Winning!

We drove (about 6 cars) from South Carolina to Florida.  The crew included myself and my three children, four of my five siblings (and spouses), all of their children, and my Dad and his “special friend”.  We made up a group of about 27 people!  We cashed in some timeshare points at the Bluegreen resort, and had about 6 suites to house everyone.

To save money, we came up with a plan to have each room host a dinner one day.  Everyone was on their own for breakfast and lunch.  This worked out well, but we ended up with a LOT of leftovers!

What We Did Each Day

Day 1: We arrived, hung out around the resort (which was amazing, and I am not being paid to say that), and went to the store to stock up on food.  My sisters are super prepared, so one of them had cooked their dinner before we left and froze it.  We popped that in the oven, and had a no fuss meal.

Day 2: Off to Animal Kingdom.  With that many people, it is impossible to get everyone up and ready by a set time.  My niece woke up and made us all Mickey Mouse pancakes .  We arrived to the park and had an amazing time!  This was also the night of the fireworks show, so we stayed for that.  After leaving the park, we went back to the resort and played in the pool for hours!

Day 3:  Epcot was on the agenda for today.  This park was a lot of fun, and the International Food Festival was in full swing making it even better!  I sampled so many different foods from so many different places!

Day 4: Hollywood Studios on my birthday!  Three words- Tower of Terror!  There were so many amazing rides here, but the Tower of Terror was the most AMAZINGEST!  After all of this fun, we went back to the hotel where my family had a surprise party waiting for me and my nephew since we share a birthday.

Day 5: The magic kingdom!  This also happened to fall on the night of the Halloween party!  We dressed up in our costumes, and stayed at the park for most of the day.  The original plan was to go back to the resort to eat before the Halloween party, but we ended up being short on time.  Instead, we stayed at the park from that morning until the Halloween party was over (about 1am).  We were beat, but it was worth it!  Running around the park at night with the children was so much fun!

*BTW: The photos may be a little mixed up.  I could not remember where some of the photos were taken, so I just tossed them in.

Why I Want To Go Back

As you can see, we took part in so many different things!  Our days were packed from minute to minute!  While this was so much fun, we also were able to see which parks were not our favorites.

When we go back, we will do the park hoppers pass, and only go to the parks that we want to.  If we get to one and do not enjoy it, we will leave and go elsewhere.

I also want to go back because it was just plain fun!

A Day In The Life Of A Teacher Blogger- Day 12 (30 Day Challenge)

I sit here smiling as I write this post because today is the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  This has been the hardest year yet, and the feeling of survival it is overwhelming!

Now on to blogging.  Being a full time teacher/blogger is fulfilling, but a lot of work!  I am looking forward to spending my summer focusing on my blog.  Since I encourage all teachers to blog for money, I think Day 12 is the perfect day to let you in on the reality of teacher blogging.

My Day

5:20 am- Alarm goes off.

5:30 am- Alarm goes off again (I hit snooze…)

5:40 am- Wait for it- alarm goes off yet again.  I really get up this time.

5:40-6:45 am- Take a shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, wake the kids, get them ready, eat breakfast, drink a cup or four of coffee, make lunch, and finally get everyone loaded in the car.

6:45-7:30am- Drop everyone off at their designated areas, and make my way to school.

7:30 am- Set up my classroom, shoo any students who are not where they should be away, and make my way to my duty station.

7:48 am- Students are sent out of the duty areas, and I go to my classroom to stand in the doorway and greet them.

7:55-9:48 am- Teach two classes of math.

9:48-10:46 am- Planning period.  Although this is my planning, I still have to call parents, answer emails, visit students in ISS, sit in on meetings, make copies, and also use the restroom and have a snack.  If I finish all of this in time, I may be able to grade some papers.

10:46-12:41 pm- I teach an enrichment type class, and my beloved ProTeam course.  The enrichment course is tough, but the ProTeam one is one of the highlights of my day!

12:41-1:40pm- LUNCH!  I am starving by this time.  I walk the students to lunch, make sure they get their trays and sit in the right spot.  I then heat my lunch, supervise students as I eat, finish eating in time to take them and myself to the restroom, and then take them back to class around 1:25.  During this time, I supervise them as they go to their lockers.

1:40-3:36pm- Teach two more classes of math.

3:36-4:00 pm- The dismissal bell rings at 3:36, but we wait in the classroom with our bus students until their buses are called over the intercom.

4:00pm-5:30 pm- Tutor, grade papers, organize my room, prepare for my next lesson, respond to parents, and joke with my teacher friends before heading home.

5:30-6:00 pm- Drive home.

6:00 pm- Walk in the house and eat whatever my husband has made for me.  My husband works a graveyard schedule, so he is the one to pick the kids up, make sure homework is completed, and feed everyone.

6:30-9:30 pm- Sit at the computer to work on my blog.  I check my stats, show people that I am still alive on social media, and write/schedule posts.

9:30 pm- Take a shower, make sure the kids have everything together, and get in the bed.  If I have any energy left, I will read a book or watch a little television.  Then I go to sleep and do it all over again the next day.

The Rewards

As you can see, teacher/bloggers have very full days!  However, my family and I make concessions for this because we have a common plan.  We know what we are working towards, and know that if we keep at it we will meet our goals.  So, teachers who are considering blogging, it may not be easy but in the long run it will be worth it.

Month 1 Blogging: My Goals and Income!

Going into blogging, I had some really unrealistic goals!  I had researched starting a blog, and had formed some large opinions about it.  I will go ahead and share my goals and realities, before sharing my new goals for month 2.

Month 1 Goals:

Goal 1: Have 1 post go viral.  This was a fail.  I did not have any posts go viral, but I also did not write as much relevant content as I should have.  I read on another blog (I forgot which one) that about 85% of what we write is average.  Only about 15% really connects with an audience.

Goal 2: Make $500 through affiliates.  This was another fail.  I managed to not make ANY money through affiliates this month.  This was a big disappointment, but once again, my research shed some light here.  We have to build our following before we are able to make money.  In light of this, I took some time these last few weeks to work on building my following, and really narrowing down the niche(s) for my blog.

Goal 3: Post 3 researched posts each week.  This was a fail, too.  Honestly, this was the last month of a very hectic school year.  I simply struggled to find the time or energy to post 3 times per week.  Also, towards the end of the month, I stopped posting so much and spent my time building my social medias, and also defining my niche(s).

Goal 4: Grow ALL social medias to at least 100.  This was mostly a fail, but with some small successes.

  • Pinterest started at 37 and grew to 84.  Fail, but not bad.
  • Facebook started at 6 and grew to 32.  Another fail, but I really did not put much effort into Facebook.
  • Instagram started at 29 and grew to 69.  Another fail, but another area that I did not put much effort in.
  • Twitter started at 46 and grew to 619!  Yes, you read that correctly- big success!  I used an app called Crowdfire to help me with Twitter, and it has really helped grow my following.  While it has helped with followers, I do not see it generating much traffic to my blog.

Goal 5: Create a freebie.  Another fail.  Not to keep making excuses, but this school year whipped my behind!  I could not muster up the energy to create my freebie, but I have started my design for it.  More on that will be coming soon!

Month 2 Goals

As you can see, I failed at the majority of my month 1 goals.  However, the quote “I never fail.  I succeed in finding out what does not work” sums up my views from here.  Month 1 has really helped me with setting my goals for month 2.

Goal 1: Have 1 post go viral (at least 1,000 views). This was a fail last month, but I did not post relevant content as I should have.

Goal 2: Make $100 through affiliates.  I lowered my goal since I am still working on building my following.

Goal 3: Post every Tuesday and Thursday.  I slacked off on my posting last month because I had not really defined my topic.  Now that I have, I will be posting on a schedule.  I will also update my reading list post on Saturdays.

Goal 4: Grow social media accounts. 

Twitter was my huge success, so I plan to grow that one to 1,000 followers.  Pinterest was not quite successful, but not too big of a failure.  I was only 16 people away from my goal.  I plan to grow Pinterest to about 120 followers. Facebook and Instagram were huge fails, though, so I plan to merely have them reach about 100 followers.

Goal 5: Create a freebie.  As I said, I did not have the time or energy this past month for this one, but I will definitely be using my summer vacation to make this happen.  The plan is to roll my freebie out by mid-July.

Goal 6: Have 1,200 page views.  This month, I barely had 500 page views.  I also noticed that many of these were from the very salesy post that I wrote when I first rolled out (Mother’s Day).  Those types of posts are not what I would like to be defined by, so I have made a decision to never post those again.

Goal 7: Post 1 Vlog.  I would like to post one vlog.  I am trying to step out of my comfort zone, so this is one of the areas that would really push me to do that.

Conclusion

So now you see what worked and what did not for me.  Starting this blog was one of the best decisions that I made, but I want you to have a more realistic picture than I did.  It is unlikely that you will make money right out of the gate.  You really have to work on building your following and making connections with people.  I put my plan together as if I would be a great success immediately.  I should have planned on gradually becoming a success while steadily working towards growing my critical areas.

Sometimes reading the posts on Pinterest will make you feel as if you are doing things wrong.  Most of them seem as if they start off with at least 1,000 page views per day.  I barely had half of that.  They also make it seem as if you should be making big money immediately.  I did not even make a dollar!

However, I plan to grow this blog to great proportions, and I want people to be able to look back at the beginning and see that it was not always a huge success.  So remember our quote for the day- “I never fail.  I succeed in finding out what does not work.”  Do not give up!  Keep reaching for those dreams and they will come true!

 

10 Favorite Songs On My Playlist- Day 11 (30 Day Challenge)

My music playlist is a dangerous place!  There is no rhyme or reason, simply any songs that I found interesting thrown together.  I consider myself a lyrical person- so when I first hear a song, the lyrics are what connects me with it.  Because of that, you will find a range of genres here.  Here is your glimpse into my secret territory.

*Disclosure: Affiliate links are included but all opinions are my own.

My Playlist

Beyoncé- Don’t Hurt Yourself (featuring Jack White)

Pink- Just Like Fire

Jessica ReedyBetter

U2California

SiaChandelier

Mariah CareyClose My Eyes

Swedish House MafiaDon’t You Worry Child

AJRWeak

Nicki Minaj & DrakeMoment 4 Life

MiguelSure Thing

 

As you can see, many of my songs may be considered “outdated”, but they sound good to me.  Hope you enjoy!