the Aldi project: the list

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Do yall always make a list before grocery shopping? My shopping trip realllly suffers if I don’t.

I never fail to 1. Buy too many snacks and not enough meals and 2. Forget one tiny but crucial ingredient for the meals I do cook.

So, I’m a list gal all the way. Sometimes they are hand written and sometimes on my phone. When they are paper I even walk around with a pen and check them off as I go! Old school.

One time right out of college a group of friends and I were out on a Saturday night. A friend found a sticky note on the floor with a grocery list including the words “broccoli florets.” She brought it over to our table and said it HAD to belong to Taylor. Ha!

I haven’t changed my ways yet. Add in the two kids who like to distract me and I am even more reliant on my list than that 22 year old me.

As promised, I have created the simple grocery list I will use for my Aldi project. You can read the specifics on my idea here.

This list, for my family, is enough groceries for the kids’ breakfast (hubby and I don’t really eat week day breakfast), Sam’s packed lunches for
5 days, 4 really basic dinner meals for all of us, and some snacks plus one weekend breakfast.

Here is the “meal plan”:

Night one: tailgate sandwiches
Night two: taco Tuesday
Night 3: chili
Night 4: frozen pizza (I’m not trying to convince you guys I’m a chef…just go with this)
Night 5: just kidding. I hate cooking on Fridays, we go to Mexican.

Kids breakfasts: cinnamon pop tarts OR toast with strawberries and/or grapes, milk

Sams lunches: peanut butter sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, OR ham and cheese as main. Goldfish, fruit snacks, strawberries, grapes, yogurt, applesauce (combo of any of these 3) as sides. And a juice box to drink.

Side note: About 6 months ago when Sam started school and I looked into packing lunches you should have seen my lists. Very ambitious. Now it’s usually peanut butter 4 days a week at HIS request.

These handy little things SAVE me each morning though. Just fill in each area. The idea of dealing with multiple baggies and lids, etc sound like too much extra work for mornings.

Moving on…

Weekend breakfast: we usually pick up or go out to eat one weekend breakfast. The other day in we do easy like cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, pancakes or sometimes eggs/bacon/biscuits. I picked blueberry muffins for this list.

Snacks: grapes (go to snack for me and kids), cheese sticks, goldfish, apple sauce and chips and salsa

Throw in an extra frozen pizza for the weekend.

The exactrocery list will look like this:

Goldfish
Fruit snacks
Peanut butter
Salsa
Tortilla chips
Loaf of bread
Sweet rolls
Strawberries
Grapes
Milk x2
Shredded cheese
Sour cream
Butter
Moo tube
2 lbs 80% lean ground beef
1 onion
Can black beans
Can kidney beans
Can chili beans
Can tomato sauce
Chili seasoning
Tortillas
Taco seasoning
Ham
Swiss cheese
String cheese
Pop tarts
Juice boxes
Frozen pizza x 2
Muffin mix
Apple sauce squeeze
K cups

I am not good at this part but I think I will estimate the Aldi total at $68 and the Walmart total at $92?

I can’t wait for the results! Stay tuned!

Advent calendar round up

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

The countdown to Christmas Day is really more than half the fun for me. I love the prolonged holiday season and all the music, movies, festivities and fun building up to this one big day filled with friends and food and giving and receiving.

It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year and I’ll always feel like a kid at Christmas.

Naturally, I love a good Christmas countdown. I have a wooden sign where we move the marker over each day until Christmas and this year I’m going the DIY random acts of kindness advent calendar.

I wanted to show you a round up of Advent calendars found on Amazon so you and/or your kids can count down as well!

Melissa & Doug – I just love Melissa and Doug for their use of wood over plastic. This one looks like it will last and it’s perfectly simple.

Harry Potter – okay the price tag on this one is so unbelievable that I wouldn’t buy it….but hey, maybe it will go down in the off season! I couldn’t leave Harry Potter off my list!

Harry Potter socks – not an advent calendar per say but a 12 Days of Christmas spin. I love these. You should see the price on the women’s version…but the men’s price is right. I want to say these were released at Target last year and created an actual frenzy.

Christmas Tree – sort of like the one I bought, but no need to decorate!

Old School chocolate style – here is the classic kind I remember growing up

Thomas the Train – my boys have never been Thomas super fans but I know many who are. And although these are mini trains, it’s really a bargain for kids who collect them!

Ornaments – this is perfect for decorating a tiny tree. I know my kids would get a kick out of adding an ornament to their table top trees before bed every night of Dec.

Wood House – this little wooden house is bare wood like the tree we are doing – perfect for those who want to craft!

Gingerbread – I love gingerbread houses but they look deceptively simple to make. Once you attempt it you realize you are no architect and walls start crashing down. I’d do with the look of one like this and never have to get out that sticky edible mortar.

Light Up – this looks like it would be so festive all lit up

Crayola – a little project and new art supply for each day. Each day is a tad ambitious for my kids who refuse to sit down to color….but growing up I would have loved this.

Nativity Fabric – this one makes me feel nostalgic for my grade school! I know there was one in similar to this in there somewhere. Good price for the quality and use year after year.

Pandora – awesome price and awesome idea

My kids saw Santa last night at our town’s downtown holiday open house and my oldest thought that meant that is was Christmas Eve. The difference is in being Christmas and it being Christmas time is definitely difficult to grasp…so I think these will be a big hit with any kid!

Snag yourself an advent calendar before December sneaks up on us!

 

 

the Aldi project: the proposal

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Next week makes one month since I’ve been back at blogging after my extended summer hiatus. I have found myself wanting to go in a million directions.

Anyone who knows my love of Babywise baby sleep is probably amazed I haven’t blogged about that yet. I am also always ready to post more Dave Ramsey but unsure who wants to read about it. I like posting about Mid Century Modern things but I don’t have the budget to buy more cool furniture to feature. I recently began waking up at 5am to work out and would like to tell you all about it. I haven’t done many DIY things this month outside of Halloween

See, a million directions.

Overall, I want balance between offering really interesting content for you guys while also chronicling the every day so I can go back and see what my family was up to in this stage of our lives.

This blog was started because:

1. I like blogs/blogging

2. I have dreams of my blog growing into a side hustle

In order to achieve point number 2, I need to get out there more! This starts with great content that people feel compelled to read and that people like to share. With that being said, I’d like to invite all of my current readers to share anything of mine that you have enjoyed reading to your Pinterest account!

Simply hover over any photo I upload and the upper left corner will have a little red “Pin” option.

Back to what to blog about…I have decided a fun thing for me to do that would also provide meaningful content is a little Aldi experiment. Hence, my blog title, The Aldi Project: the proposition.

Now this isn’t technically a proposition because I’m not pitching it to Aldi or something like that. It’s just a plan. But just for fun let’s pretend I’m a professional blogger and  they are offering me a free Aldi shopping trip in exchange for this review. Ha! A girl can dream.

I am planning to do 3 blog posts over the course of this project that will essentially be a price comparison for Aldi against Walmart.

Blog 1 – the proposition
Blog 2 – the list and the estimated savings
Blog 3 – the results

Here is what I am proposing, exactly. I’ll create a weekly shopping list that includes basic dinner items (think taco night, chili, and the like) along with snack foods, key breakfast items and anything else needed for a small family’s weekly groceries.

I’ll buy one week at Walmart and then carry out the exact same list at Aldi the next week. (Sorry in advance to my family as this may feel like the Groundhog’s Day of dinners).

Then I’ll break it down, item by item, and we’ll see what we get! I will buy mostly Walmart store brand, since Aldi is not “name brand.” Although I do have to tell you I sometimes think name brand is weird or off-tasting compared to my norm of “off brand.”  I grew up on COLA and Fruit Rounds, after all!

There are other grocery stores to compare with, no doubt. But I thought with Walmart being pretty universal, this would carry over well to most readers.

I am an Aldi girl through and through, as I have mentioned before. Some of you may be as well, and some of you may not be and that’s okay. I’m not shaming any one who isn’t on team Aldi with me, I just thought this would be a neat experiment.

Who knows, I may not be saving the money I thought I was! Or maybe I’m saving more! Let the planning begin!

preparing little hearts for Christmas

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tonight I asked my 3 year old what Christmas was all about. I wasn’t expecting much, but his answer was “decorations.”

What can I say? I DO love to decorate for Christmas and the kid is very perceptive. But…I am hoping to teach them a little more this year.

I found this super cool wooden Advent calendar on Amazon last week and became obsessed with the possibilities.

I will admit my first inclination was little presents or treats or something along those lines. But then I remembered our  debates over the lingering Halloween candy and our overflowing toy boxes and thought better of that pretttty quickly.

So I turned to Google and was overwhelmed with great Advent calendar ideas for giving, doing random acts of kindness, contributing to charities, etc.

I knew I could get on board with this, but what about a 2 year old and a 3 year old?

Our youngest may not. But I sat down with them tonight and told them all about the real meaning of Christmas in ways they could understand.

I told them how we could fill these boxes up with little notes all about the reason for the season. It was part Bible story and part “our hearts will grow 3 sizes” a la The Grinch. And I think it clicked!

So we started brainstorming ideas for the box. I mentioned bringing cookies to our neighbors or sending hand drawn Christmas pictures in the mail. I asked what other things we could do that might make people happy.

Sam said “give people coats and houses!” I really don’t know where or how he picked up the concept that there are people cold and homeless. But I was shocked. He went on to explain that he wanted to buy a house for anyone without one…if only.

I asked what about people who are sick in the hospital, what could we get for them? His first answer made me laugh out loud….he said, “a doctor”.

He is a practical guy after all!

He also said they might want monkey blankies of their own! Monkey Blankie is a very special comfort item of Sam’s 🙂

I am looking forward to completing our list of 24 acts of kindness to prepare these little hearts for Christmas. I wanted to post about this with enough time for anyone else who wanted to join in to think about their list!

 

I should mention that Advent calendar I chose is project in itself. It’s raw wood so it’s a little something to craft. This seems completely unnecessary but I thought it was a neat thing to personalize or work on with the kids. No worries if that’s not your thing–you can find plenty of ready made options too.

I am planning to take advantage of some Black Friday deals and keep an eye out at Aldi for things like fuzzy socks, blankets, Poinsettias, etc. But, I should mention I am really not planning on this to cost much.

And that is one of the reasons I wanted to share it.

I really don’t think Christmas is about breaking the bank, even when giving back.

We plan to purge our old towels and blankets to give to the humane society, pick up liter, donate used books to our hospital’s children’s wing and used toys to our daycare, etc.

Anyone can do this, no matter the budget.

It doesn’t cost much to get in the Christmas spirit!

 

Mid Century Monday

It’s been a while since I did a Mid Century Monday so I thought I’d share a quick one today about the vintage fireplace we found!

I have been ohhing and ahhing over these things since I randomly came across this image on Pinterest. I had never seen anything like them before, but I just felt like one of these guys belonged in our mid century home.

It probably showed up on my feed because I of all of “mid century” keyword searches I do, or maybe it was reading my mind, because I instantly fell in love.

I knew nothing about it other than the fact that I had to have one.

A few Ebay and Google searches later…. I sat shocked to find that many go for over $1000, $1200, etc. Even the beat up versions needing complete paint jobs seemed to want a minimum of $500.

Yikes.

Basically for the last year I have gone to Craigslist, Ebay or Facebook Marketplace in my spare time and searched for Preway or Malm  or even Majestic or Sears (some common brand name) fireplaces only to find the same high prices.

I am in (nerd alert) a Mid Century Modern facebook group where people can post about their homes or cool finds and it seemed like people were always scoring these things on the side. of. the. road.

WHAT?

I thought about this and eventually I realized that the key was not searching the brand names (they knew what they had!) but just searching old fireplace or vintage wood burning stove. Even cone fireplace and funky fireplace brought up options in the $300 range.

Try to use terms that indicate it’s just something to get rid of and they aren’t valuing their fireplace very high.

Example of out of my price range = “mint condition mid century modern Malm cone fireplace, XYZ  addition, original paint in pristine shape, includes fire screen that has never been used and we’ll throw in a unicorn”- $1450 you pay shipping.

Example of more my style pricing = “funky old cone shaped fireplace, works, could use a cleaning” – $300

It wasn’t side of the road price, but we found one! We pulled the trigger and came away with this bright orange beauty!

Some of your reading this may be thinking this thing is not your cup of tea, and that’s okay! But we are so happy to finally add a mid century fireplace to our mid century home!

Bonus–ours is electric. It’s basically a huge funky space heater. Easy to relocate and not complicated to get it generating heat. Plus it’s so pretty 🙂

Win. win. win.

That’s my little blog post for this rainy Monday. I hope any of you out there hunting for the perfect piece come across it soon. I suggest using non-specific keyword searches to find the best bargains!

trunk or treat times two

It took me a really long time to get on board with trunk or treats; I’m not going to lie. I think we can all agree that trick or treating on foot is slowly (and sadly) moving over into the category of “the good ole days.”

I remember going up and down the sidewalks of the neighborhood then ending up at my grandma’s house with all of my cousins to count out and sort our candy and begin the great candy swap that was about to ensue.

4 boxes of Dots for 2 Reese’s. DEAL.

While I’m on the subject… this whole “change Halloween to the last Saturday” fiasco and also the people pushing for towns to change Halloween around due to weather forecasts really have me thinking about
Halloweens growing up.

This may not be the most popular opinion…but I am in the camp of: Halloween is on Halloween. And here is why:

I get it. I have kids and I agree that it would be much more convenient to go out in 75 degree weather with clear skies over a Halloween when it’s calling for thunderstorms.

And for those on team “move Halloween to the last Saturday of Oct”—I get that too. We are full time working parents and weeknight Halloweens are a rushed experience, no doubt.

But here’s where I’m coming from—that’s life!

Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows ( Halloween 1993! I was a red M&M.), sometimes its 90 degrees and sometimes you have to ruin your costume with a pesky coat.

Such is life.

But I don’t mean that in old, Grinchy “oh that’s life and you have to suffer mwahaha” kind of way.

I just mean that things pop up in life and things come along that change your plans. You can either whine about it, or make the most of it. You often find that the outcome is a happy surprise. Better than planned!

I personally think that those few stormy or snowy Halloweens make for the best memories.

Maybe you can only stand the rain for two houses so you throw an impromptu party for all the neighbors inside – cue The Monster Mash, please.

It might have to be that one Halloween night you all sit around a table and play card games in your costumes or tell ghost stories in the candlelight or cozy up with Hocus Pocus and chili.

My bet is, you actually may look back over a lifetime of Halloweens and remember these “less than perfect” nights even above all the rest. Because you were forced to do something different, something memorable.

If nothing else, I’m okay with my kids learning the life lesson of being disappointed, but making lemonade out of life’s lemons!

I am one to talk because I am super type A and have a hard time letting plans go or accepting that something isn’t going to go as  planned, but it IS something I work on.

I figure if all we do is change the date for them to make it easier…what are we teaching them about unexpected difficulties in life?

I digress…

So, as I said, Trunk or Treat isn’t necessarily my pick, but they are becoming the norm in my boys’ day so I’m trying to rock it because that’s life.

We participated in two this week and we will probably attend 2 or 3 more on Halloween! Whew!

I went all out for the trunk or treat at Sam’s school. So much so that I wasn’t feeling too inspired for my other trunk or treat (which took place first, otherwise I would have used the same stuff twice, it just wasn’t ready yet).

I still wanted to share our two outcomes in case it inspires any of you.
You’ll see the crafty version that takes some time and some hot glue and some glitter. And you’ll see the 5 minute version that turned out just fine!

The Wizard of Oz trunk or treat supplies can probably be found in your own home. Look how much of this I had lying around! You do have to spend some time putting it together, but this isn’t an expensive trunk by any means.

  • A large box (had on hand)
  • Green paint (had on hand, judging by the can it has lived in our home much longer than we have)
  • Green glitter ($5 ish at Walmart. Tom spilled on himself in the store, oh joy)
  • Yellow trash bags (had on hand)
  • Construction paper (had on hand)
  • Wooden post for sign (had leftover from my DIY shower curtain art)
  • Red shoes (had on hand)
  • Striped fabric (had on hand)
  • Foam or something to be the legs (had on hand)
  • Dowel rods or skewers (had on hand)
  • Green fabric (used my mom’s tree skirt, so she had on hand)
  • Optional: Field of poppies photo shoot wall (had on hand from sister’s wedding, lol)

IF you desire to dress up along with the trunk, there are SO many Wizard of Oz character options that are easy to whip up.

I personally wanted my crazy boys to be the flying monkeys (because, fitting) and made their wings from painted fairy wings and hot glued feathers.

Finally, there is the trunk you can make from your own current front porch décor! I loaded up all of our pumpkins, my lanterns, and a mum as well as the green tree skirt used above and a string of battery- operated lights from the play room.

I DID add a sign that said “Welcome Great Pumpkin” because I am a sucker for all Peanuts holiday specials, but it fell flat without a few ghosts or a moon or snoopy. Oh well. We had a participating trunk!

I found so many ideas for trunk or treats that I am looking forward to doing it again! I may be coming around to the idea after all.

I hope everyone has a happy Halloween! If it rains on us, I hope we all find the silver lining!

pumpkin patch days

This month I had the privilege of attending my three year old, Sam’s, pumpkin patch field trip…and my mind just keeps going back to it.

Nothing spectacular happened,( it was even a little exhausting at times
trying to make sure we had eyes on all the preschoolers!), but I was still left with the feeling that I know these days are fleeting.

I have found myself wondering lately–how many more pumpkin patch days do I have with my kids before life rushes us along to the next stage? At ages 2 and 3, joy at the pumpkin patch is so easy to come by.

Finding THE BEST pumpkin?! Riding a trailer out in to a field!? Sliding down slides and eating cookies with spider web rings on top and wallering around in corn kernels?!

What more could a child want?

What more could a parent want, really, than being in this happy, innocent moment of life when the pumpkin patch is the epitome of happiness.

It dawned on me as we got back home and this exhausted little boy crashed for a nap that I may only do this 4 or 5 more times before it’s no longer considered the best day ever, to him. After a few more trips on that trailer, we might never go again.

There are truly so few pumpkin patch days, and I don’t just mean the ones in October.

This works for all of those magical seasons I tend to get wrapped up in.
Isn’t is crazy how few Halloweens and how few Easter Egg Hunts and how very few Christmas Eve nights with the belief of Santa Claus hanging in the air that we get to experience with our children?

The days are long, yes. The nights are long at times, oh yes. But the seasons are so few.

I can’t help feeling that time is flying by me, and I’ll wake up one morning to kids who may have no desire to go to the pumpkin patch. I’ll just buy them at Aldi :0

That’s a touch dramatic, but still. Magic days are numbered.

I think this is the reason I am so into all things holiday and festive. Be it  Santa Claus, dying eggs, carving pumpkins, green St. Patricks Day lunches,
even pictures in the cotton fields … They are seasons that come and go.

They are so measurable I feel like I must drink it all in, document it, savor it.

I once went outside in the cold, after my kids were asleep, to build a snowman. Because I knew the snow would melt by the time we got home from work and daycare the following evening. And I needed them to have a snowman. It may have been the only time that winter they got one!

It felt a little crazy at the time, but I see now that it was a season that could be gone too soon. Tom’s first and only winter where he could sit but not walk. Sam’s last winter to fit inside the makeshift sled I made from a Rubbermaid container…

Of course, I know there are amazing things to look forward to with older children. Our days won’t be lesser then, just different than they are now. I do look forward to every stage. Plus, I fully intend to make my children sit down with us and carve a pumpkin every year anyway, ha!

I write this all out not because I’m sad about it (okay… maybe I am a little), but mainly because I think we can all, myself included, use a reminder to stop for a moment.

Skip the time out and skip the scolding in some of those lovely moments with toddlers, skip the nap (super hard for me!), eat the cookies for breakfast, make a mess, and enjoy the season.

Whichever one we are in.

 

 

We’re going to do pumpkin patch round 2 with both kids this week– bonus for this season and this mama!

Canvas Factory review (and giveaway!)

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I so rarely get professional photos taken of my kids. Probably because the iPhone is in my hand most of the time and I always snap quick pictures that way.

And here lately because getting them to pose for a picture feels impossible!

But this year I finally  got my act together and booked a photo shoot for the boys for cotton pictures. I don’t think there are many backdrops in nature prettier than a bright white cotton field, so the rolling combines this October kicked me into gear and we got it done!

The only doubt I had in my mind was about my feisty little red head. And even though the photographer was excellent with them and very talented, Tom still managed to look like he was posing for toddler mug shots.

The struggle is real. I do have a picture of them both smiling….from a few MONTHS ago….but it isn’t great quality. I suppose the idea is to capture who they are at this point in time, so picture perfect isn’t the likely option for almost 2 and 3.5, but a girl can dream right?

Anyway…I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to receive a free canvas from Canvas Factory (in exchange for my honest review) and it was the perfect timing to order a large canvas of our cotton shoot, smiles or not.

Keep reading for my review and for information on how one of my readers will also win a code for a free canvas print from Canvas Factory!

 

The first thing I noticed about Canvas Factory was the extreme ease of use on their website. It was super user friendly to hop onto https://www.canvasfactory.com/ and get started.

I selected the 20×16 and uploaded a shot of both boys where Tom looks less angry and more like a moody model, which may be what he was going for all along…

I used their tool to preview it and opted for the mirror image feature on the sides so I didn’t have to use up any of the actual image in the canvas wrapping process. I wouldn’t recommend doing a mirror image of a face or anything like that, but it wasn’t obvious with the cotton.

It arrived very quickly (same week–I’m talking 5 days after I ordered, it was in my kitchen). And it arrived in perfect shape. The quality may not photograph as clearly as it could, so I’m not sure if you can tell here,  but it looks great!

Hopefully you can see what I meant by “mirror image” wrap option in the photo above. The edges aren’t a part of the original image, just a mirror image of it so I didn’t have to forfeit any image to the wrapping process.

The canvas corners were very tight and neat. I have ordered from other companies before where the corners are folded messy and look…thick…if you can envision that. It’s kind of like comparing professional wrapping jobs to my wrapping jobs.

A nice feature is the finished back so that the canvas is more protected. My other canvas prints from other companies are just open in the back, and if you were to press against it the canvas would show that indent on the front side.

Another extra touch is that the hanging hardware comes already attached (not the case for the last canvas I ordered elsewhere).

Overall, I am so pleased with my new canvas from Canvas Factory and do not have any cons to report. Considering this is my first product review, I really did inspect the product and consider the process before I delivered my verdict…but I can’t hide that it’s a glowing review.

The speedy shipping, finished back with attached hardware, and the quality won me over so they are my new go-to for printing canvas. I can’t wait to try out some of the other products on their site!

If you would like to be entered into my drawing to win a free canvas with free shipping, here are the rules below. Bonus–this makes an awesome Christmas present!

To qualify to win you need to first be a subscriber to my blog.

You can find the “subscribe via email” option on the right side if you are on a computer or at the bottom if you are on your phone. Don’t worry, it’s only about 2 emails a week notifying you of a new post!

If you already subscribe, you’re good 🙂

Once you are a subscriber, you have a chance to put in 3 entries! You may opt to do 1, 2 or all 3 for up to 3 entries into the Canvas Factory giveaway. The options are:

  1. Share this giveaway post from my Mid Century Mom Blog Facebook page 
  2. Tag a friend on this giveaway post on my Instagram – Mid.Century.Mom
  3. Pin the giveaway image at the very top of this post to your Pinterest

The contest runs for 2 weeks, so you have until midnight on Tuesday, Nov 6th to get those entries in!

***THE WINNER HAS BEEN DRAWN AND NOTIFIED. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED!***

mom blog update with giveaway info

I can’t believe I started this blog 7 months ago! I just recently had a little win that made me feel like a boss blogger  so I wanted to do an update. I can’t wait to tell you guys about it…. a GIVEAWAY is involved!

A little back story:

For years and years I had been intrigued by the idea of blogging, especially as a side hustle. I did a few blogs for fun back in 2009-2011 ish but they weren’t self hosted and I didn’t really understand the potential of self hosting at that time.

For those of you who are like “uh, what??” — the difference is that you must pay to self host but you also have to option to use your blog as a platform to earn. On the other hand, with a hosted blog you are up and running for free but you cannot monetize.

So after almost pulling the trigger so many times, in late March 2018 I decided it’s something I would enjoy whether it made a dime or not and I started Mid Century Mom Blog.

Yay!!

You guys remember when I posted about having earned about $5?!  I was SO excited that this really could be a small revenue stream to add to my Dave Ramsey snowball.

Well, in May, Amazon Associates (the affiliate program I use) emailed me and shut down my account because the blog didn’t feature enough original content. Ouch! I even lost my little $5.

I really wish I had stuck with blogging these last 7 months, but I slacked off big time June-Sept. I have to admit that Amazon  Associates rejection just bummed me out.

Lately I have reminded myself that those people who make hundreds and thousands of dollars a month by blogging are the exception, not the rule. They also don’t give up on their blogs after 3 months, I would assume.

Anyway, this is me jumping back into something that I really like. Of course I am still intrigued by blogging success stories and will always try to emulate those amazing blogs.  One day I might generate a viral Pin or a bunch of followers and then I may actually get to call my blog a side hustle!

For now, I am hoping to make back the money I invested in this blog. $65.40 for one year.

You might be wondering, how does a blog make money? Well, typically 4 ways:

  1. Affiliate links -Some of the links in my posts take you to a product I am recommending or reviewing, etc. There is often an agreement between myself and that company that I can earn a small commission for driving traffic their way if it results in a sale. The commissions vary depending on which affiliate program you use. I decided to try a second time around with Amazon!
  2. Ads – There are many different advertising options for a blog that will pay a few cents for clicks or even views. My blog sees a very modest amount of traffic so I haven’t explored this option yet.
  3. Selling a product or service – This isn’t the route I am going right now but many bloggers sell training and informational e-books, coaching services, or physical products.
  4. Sponsored posts – Companies will pay or provide their product for free in exchange for a review of their product.

I am excited to let you guys know that I have the opportunity for a sponsored post! I get to review a canvas  I receive for free from an online canvas company and I just placed my order today! Once it’s in, I will do a blog post all about the product and then offer a free canvas courtesy of the company to one of my readers!

With the canvas being worth roughly $45 and my second attempt at Amazon associates ringing in at $6.24, my little blog has technically earned me $51.24. Less than $15 away from breaking even 🙂

If you are interested in the canvas giveaway, please subscribe to my blog as the first step to be eligible to win. If you have already subscribed, awesome!

I will be announcing the rest of the criteria in an upcoming post (it won’t be hard! just asking for a share or a pin 🙂 ) But I wanted yall to subscribe now so you won’t miss the official giveaway rules.

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Thanks for reading!

a trend i’m loving-educational charts

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Amid the constant indecision over Sam’s big boy room, I stumbled across the trend of using vintage (or, let’s be real about what I’m willing to spend—vintage inspired) educational charts and pull down maps as wall art.

Are you guys tired of reading about wall art? I apparently don’t tire of writing about it. I’ve always thought a home looks incomplete without stuff on the walls!

I scoured Etsy for the real deal vintage charts to inspire me and because they are just fun to look at! If money were no object, it’s safe to say that I’d drop a pretty penny on one of these things because I can’t get enough.

Check out these unique and cool pieces:

This rocket!! Swoon!

 

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The mathematics ones are cool for those of you who (like me!) struggle with committing to a theme or style. It’s almost like abstract art or minimalist.

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Why am I so drawn to these chickens?! Honestly this would not fit into my home or in any decorating effort I’ve ever made but it might be my favorite! And this is coming from someone with an irrational fear of birds..

You know we can’t have enough bull-related items in our home, thanks to Tom!

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I could just see the seaweed  or starfish chart in a swanky beach house and the chickens in a farm house kitchen. The rocket is so cool for a boy room or a sleek apartment with stainless everywhere! I love every botanical  I come across and even the mathematical options are great.

The majority of these examples are upwards of several hundred dollars. So I turned to my good friend Amazon and found some pretty neat reproductions. And after a lot of back and forth, I placed the Amazon order!

Sam’s room includes these two options:

             

 

Amazon really offered tons of subject matter options–ranging from eye charts to outer outer space.

Perfect, in my opinion, for punchy kid room décor!

PS – boy mom mode over here, but to anyone with a girl these butterflies are so sweet and timeless. They would look just as great in a nursery as they would for an adult and I love art like that.