Tidying Up

first row: Target (no longer available), right

second row: left, center, right

third row: left, right

While it appears to be all quiet on the western blogging front (it is summer, after all), I’ve been tidying up my blog design. (And moving to WordPress…eek!) At the same time, it’s a battle to keep things tidy at home. As Monica has grown, so has her collection of toys and books. To contain some of the chaos, I bought the two baskets from the top row. Not only do her things have a “home,” but it’s easy to move a bunch of toys from one room to the other. Say, from the front room to our bedroom so she can play while we get ready in the morning. Or from the backroom to the back yard if we want to play outside. Now if only she can learn to put her toys back into the baskets!

On Blogging and Running

About a month ago, Lindsay Ostrom of Pinch of Yum was a guest on The Lively Show. I enjoy reading food blogs, but hadn’t heard of Pinch of Yum until then. In addition to sharing delicious recipes with gorgeous photography, Pinch of Yum shares their monthly income reports. Their first income report was for August 2011 and the blog made $21.97. In May 2014, Pinch of Yum had net income of over $23,000! Suffice it to say, I’ve read more of their income reports (and related tips) than recipes ;)

What does this have to do with running? In January 2014′s report, Bjork (Lindsay’s husband and behind the scenes guy of Pinch of Yum) shared the following mindset for growing a blog:

Be a cross country star, not a tennis star. I love tennis. It was my favorite sport in high school. But I always had a ton of respect for the cross country guys and girls. Not only because of their crazy ability to run long distances, but because of the mindset they had in regards to their performance. With tennis, if you beat your opponent you consider the day a success. With cross country, if you beat your own previous record you consider the day a success. Your journey of growing your blog will be much more fulfilling if you aim to outperform yourself as opposed to other blogs.

Amen, brother!

Like blogging, I took a bit of an extended maternity leave from running. Sure, I ran a 10K this past October, but I wasn’t running consistently. About three months before Monica’s birthday, John’s sister talked me into running a half marathon. I pulled up a Hal Higdon training plan, dusted off my running shoes, and got to work. The day before Monica’s birthday, I ran my first half marathon in over three years. Was is pretty? Not exactly. But I went out there and finished.

Likewise, this past spring, I felt ready to get back into blogging on a more consistent basis. The analogy isn’t perfect, but here are a few more thoughts about why blogging is like running:

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Toolbox Essentials for the New Homeowner

It’s summertime, which means DIY projects and household improvements are filling people’s weekend “to do” lists. The summer is also a prime time to buy a new house, which means you need to be prepared for repairs. If you’re in either of these camps, you’ll enjoy today’s post sponsored by Gotstock.

What’s in Your Toolbox?
Whether you live in an apartment, condo, or house, you should have a few basic tools on hand to tackle simple household repairs. This isn’t about being an HGTV DIY expert; it’s just about being reasonably self-sufficient.

Think about whether you would be able to deal with an emergency. If you don’t have to the tools to do this; you need to make a trip to the hardware store. This applies to both the ladies and gentlemen.

What is the Best way to Acquire Tools?
There are ready-equipped tool kits on the market which give you access to a variety of different sizes and types of tools. The problem is that the majority are not cheap, and you may not need all of the items in the kit.

The best time to buy the very basic tools is when you first start running your own home. Then as you go on, you can acquire, rent, or borrow extra materials as jobs require them. So what are the essentials?

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