How To Monetize a Small Blog by Luke Weil – Review

I received a free printed copy  of the book, How to Monetize a Small Blog by Luke Weil for the purposes of this review.  The opinions are mine alone.

monetizeI know that the topic of making money from home is one many of my readers are interested in.  While I make a little extra change from home currently, I don’t make enough to really write a lot about.  Maybe when I’m not working full time anymore (one day, right?) I will be able to put more effort into this type of income.  It is still, however, a topic that I’m interested in, and a topic that I want to share with you.

When I was given the opportunity to read and review this book, How to Monetize a Small Blog, I jumped on it.  I was very excited to receive a printed copy, so that I could “mark it up” as I found new information.

The book is a good one for beginners.  It’s a small book, so you don’t have to worry about becoming overwhelmed with hundreds of pages of information.  The author, Luke Weil, shares a lot of different methods that are used to monetize blogs, and he explains how each method works, and the pros and cons of each.  He shares specific information on  HOW to implement the different methods.  He does not, however, give specific examples of WHERE to start.  Does that make sense?  Let me give you an example:  He talks about direct marketing, and the pros and cons of that.  He gives details on how to set prices.  He does not provide specific companies and websites that you can utilize in order to do direct marketing.

Over all, it’s a pretty easy read, and fairly thorough.  I felt like I learned more about the different methods available.  I think this is a good book for a beginner blogger, probably not so great for an experienced blogger.  Good, basic information.   You can check it out HERE!

ThankFULL For Giveaways!! Win $25 Paypal cash and More! 209 comments

Hello, my friends!


One of my goals for this blog is to spread joy and to share happiness through various methods.  I think the world needs much more of that these days.  I am hoping to be able to implement more “joy spreading” in the next few months, but I thought I would start off with a simple little giveaway for the holidays!

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Welcome to the ThankFULL for Giveaways Hop brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers!

Hosted By: Mama Smith’s | Women and Their Pretties

Co-Hosted By: Comeback Momma | Better on a Budget | Our Mini Family | SassyGalBeauty

Many bloggers have come together to bring you a chance to win some amazing prizes! Go ahead and enter them all because there is no limit to how many you can win! Good luck!

    $25 Paypal Cash

Stress Less – Blog Series to Help Lower Stress

Stress Less - Blog Series at Better on a Budget


In my newest blog series, Stress Less, I will be sharing some of my personal favorite tips, tricks, and ideas for lowering stress in my daily life.


Why stress?


I’ve always struggled to handle stress well.  I like to say that I’ve got a “low stress tolerance”.  :)    A little over 7 years ago, my son was diagnosed with Autism.  Just a month previous, he’d been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, and I began having chest pains that were later diagnosed as Pleurisy.  2 weeks after his autism diagnosis, he had his first seizure.  It was a time of a lot of stress, and my body did not handle it well.  I spent the next 4 years being in constant pain.  Migraines, joint pain, digestive struggles, you name it.  I had my gall bladder removed, was put on prescription medication for acid reflux for a year, had a biopsy in which we found 3 ulcers, and still was not getting better.  I finally was tested for Celiacs, and that test came back inconclusive.  I still tried going gluten free, and saw a world of difference.  Unfortunately, it was temporary.  About 6 months after going gluten free, I started experiencing joint pain again.  Almost immediately following began the digestive troubles, and a crazy lack of energy.  I soon found myself stressed and depressed again.  I struggled for a couple more years until last year I went to see an endocrine specialist.  I spent 6 months and over $6,000 out of pocket to be given extensive testing and to fix what was wrong.  I was finally gaining my health back!


And then I started my new job 2 months ago.  In the last two months, I’ve seen a complete reversal in my healing.  My adrenal glands began struggling, my thyroid fell apart, the pre-diabetes that I had rid myself of had come back.  Life got stressful, and I felt the effect, big time.  And so, I decided I have to do something about it, and do something NOW.


Maybe your story isn’t as obviously tied to stress as mine is.  Maybe you’re suffering way more than I could imagine due to stress.  Whatever your situation, I want to share what I have learned (and am still learning) about managing and lowering stress…for our health’s sake!

Live with Less Stress

I hope you’ll join me as I delve a little deeper into different topics.  Share with me your thoughts, and your ideas.  Feel free to comment below with questions and/or topic ideas.  I want to make this a valuable resource, not just for myself, but for you as well.  Let’s stop stressing, and let’s start living.

Talk soon,



P.S. Be sure to check out 10 Simple and Affordable Ways to Lower Stress as well.  We’ll be talking more about these!

Got Stress? 10 Simple, Affordable Ways to Combat It 2 comments

10 Simple, Affordable Ways to Lower StressStress.

It’s everywhere.  We all experience it…some of us more often than we should.  And man, it’s dangerous stuff when it’s something that is being constantly experienced.

I know from personal experience that stress is a major health destroyer…and I know I’m not alone.  Obviously it’s good to have adrenaline pumping in a dangerous situation, but when it’s constantly going, it’s going to cause problems.  What kinds of problems?

Well, for me personally, it turned into adrenal dysfunction (my adrenal glands stopped working properly), thyroid damage, and chronic inflammation (including in the gut, which was stopping my body from being able to absorb nutrients like Iron and Vitamin D).  It felt like migraines, and joint pain, and mind-numbing exhaustion.  It looked like crawling up the stairs because my knees hurt too bad, and like falling asleep sitting on the toilet in the middle of the day.  It sounded like me crying because I didn’t know how I was going to get out of bed, or of me yelling at my kids because I was SO TIRED and wanted to be left alone.StressSymptoms

I know I’m not alone.  The world we live in is chaotic.  Everyone is just so dang busy, and it seems like most of us are struggling to make ends meet.  There are more demands on our time and money, and it just seems to be too much at times.  How can we change that?  The sad reality is that we cannot often change our stressful circumstances.  We can’t just up and quit a job that is causing stress.  We can’t stop raising our special needs children.  We can’t stop thinking about money…as much as we’d like to.

So… what CAN we do to combat stress?  I absolutely believe that we can still fight for our health and peace of mind.  While it may be ideal for us to quit a stressful job or to take more time off work, that may not be realistic.  I believe that if we cannot change our circumstances, we can at least change how we are dealing with them.  How?  Read on:

  •  Eat every 3 hours.  Yep.  When you eat every 3 hours, you keep your blood sugar steady, and guess what?  That lowers the stress on your body.  Keeping blood sugar levels steady allows your body to relax more, because it’s not on alert to start pumping insulin, or to stop, etc.  Make sense?


  • Drink a LOT of water.  The recommended amount by most experts is half of your body weight in ounces (if you weigh download (1)140 lbs, divide that in half and convert to ounces, so 70 ounces/day would be your goal) per day.  How does this combat stress?  It helps your body to flush out toxins, to digest, and more.  Again, if we can’t stop the emotional stressors in our lives, we can certainly help our body to deal with the physical stressors on our bodies.


  • Laugh.  At the risk of sounding, well, weird, I am so, SO grateful for Jimmy Fallon.  I personally love to watch segments from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on YouTube.  I don’t have time to watch an entire episode at a time, and frankly, I’m usually in bed by the time it airs, so I fit a segment in here and there.  It is an amazing and wonderful feeling to laugh OUT LOUD after a stressful day at work.  My load feels a little bit lighter after having a good belly laugh.


  • Meditate.  This is one that is free and doesn’t take much time at all.  It can, however, be difficult to shut your mind off…at least it is for me.  I find that I do better if I simply listen to “meditation” or “relaxation” music from YouTube.  Having the soft music gives my mind something to focus on, so that I can let go of the hectic thoughts I usually have running through my head.


  • download (2)Take a bath.  Not only is it a mental relaxer, you can turn an ordinary bath into a truly therapeutic, healing bath by adding some special touches.  Maybe throw in some epsom salt and essential oil for a nice detox blend.  Perhaps you can light a few candles and turn the lights down.  There are so many wonderful options.


  • Avoid as much stress as possible.  We’ve talked about how difficult this can be, because we can’t always change our circumstances.  Don’t watch the news or drama TV shows.  Combine errands so you’re not out on the roads as often.  Apologize quickly to avoid fights.  Do whatever you can!


  • Watch your favorite movie genre.  You can avoid spending a penny by borrowing movies from the library.  You may love a good action movie, or a comedy.  I personally love inspirational movies based on true stories.  They usually put me in the mindset that I can indeed work harder, try again, and keep going.


  • Breathe deeply.  Breathing slowly, deeply, and engaging the stomach can reduce stress.  Yes, it really can!


  • Light a candle.  Or plug in a Scentsy warmer.  Or diffuse your favorite essential oil into the air.  Scent is powerful, and can change the mood/feel of a room, which can in turn influence your emotions for the better.


  • Avoid sugar and processed foods.  I know, I’m no fun. :)  Realize, though, that those types of foods put stress on your body, as it forces your body to try and digest and find nutrients from foods that aren’t very nutrient-dense.  Avoid adding this stressor to your body!


10 Simple ways to lower stress

There are so many other things we can do to combat stress and to improve our mental/emotional health.  Over the next several weeks, I will be going into more detail about the ideas listed above and sharing more.  Do what you can NOW to fight stress.  I’m telling you, your health, your peace of mind, is worth it.  YOU are worth it.


Menu Monday 11/02 – Weekly Meal Plan 2 comments

Wow, I can’t believe it’s November already.  I know I say that every month, but man..the days sometimes drag, but the weeks and months fly.  It’s crazy!


I have to admit, I’m already getting pretty darn excited for the holidays.  My kids both have winter birthdays, so I’ve been doing birthday shopping as well as Christmas planning.  I usually start doing holiday shopping in July-August, so that I can spend a little each month instead of one big expensive month.  It also gives me plenty of time to look for deals.


Between working full-time, raising a special needs child, being the local Cub Scout leader, gymnastics, baseball, and swimming lessons for my 2 kiddos, and holiday shopping, I’ve been busy.  Grocery-wise, I have noticed that I’m letting a lot of foods go to waste.  The last 2 weeks I haven’t been great about using up all the produce I’ve purchased before it goes bad, and my goal this week is to change that.  I’ll have to dedicate time and thought into it, but it’s definitely worth it.  Here’s hoping I can do better!


The menu plan for this week:

100_3183-1024x768Monday:  Potato Fry with chicken

Tuesday:  Breakfast for dinner (fruit smoothies, gf pancakes, hashbrowns)

Wednesday:  Hubby is cooking

Thursday:  Crockpot Taco Soup

Friday:  Leftover night

Saturday: Out to eat

Sunday:  Crockpot Pork Ribs, potatoes and carrots


A Gift For Me, A Gift For You Giveaway!! 1 comment

Enter to Win Two $225 Prize Packages in the A Gift For Me - A Gift For You Giveaway by 11/27

Welcome To The
A Gift For Me – A Gift For You Giveaway

This giveaway is for two of each prize – One for the winner and One for a friend!

Retail Value of All Prizes is $550

Hosted By

PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Co-Hosted By

Davids DIY
Michigan Saving and More
IMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways
Joyful Gifts By Julie’s Blog

Sponsored By

Avon with Julie Tucker
Two Rivers Coffee

Kitchen Classique
Beauty Therapy
KI Store

Dates: October 27th, 2015 at 12:01 am EST through November 27th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST

2 Prize Packages!

One Lucky Reader and a Friend will win a prize package valued at $225 EACH


Two Rivers Premium Coffee Gift Box for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, 21 Count

Two Rivers Premium Coffee Gift Box for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, 21 Count

Contains an assortment of dark roast, medium roast, light roast, extra bold and holiday flavored coffees
See the review and learn about this prize HERE

100% Authentic Copper Mug with Bonus Copper Shot Glass

100% Authentic Copper Mug with Bonus Copper Shot Glass

Drink the Moscow Mule the way it was meant to be enjoyed – In a handcrafted pure copper mug!

Learn about this prize HERE

Aoneky Bearing Jump Rope with Comfort Handles

Aoneky Bearing Jump Rope with Comfort Handles

​Perfect for the Active Kids and Adults on Your Gift List!
Learn about this prize HERE

Elitea® 100g Imperial Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearl Buddha Tears Silver Needle White Tea

Elitea® 100g Imperial Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearl Buddha Tears Silver Needle White Tea

Jasmine Dragon Pearl is made over two seasons, starting in early spring, when the hand-picked leaf buds are steamed, meticulously hand-rolled then dried and finished.
See the review and learn about this prize HERE

Zenik Lavender Eye Pillow

Zenik Lavender Eye Pillow

Hot or Cold Therapy for Headache, Sinus Pain & Stress Relief
Learn about this prize HERE

3 Piece Set Of Avon Elements

3 Piece Set Of Avon Elements

Register with Julie on Avon to get email updates and she will send you a 20% discount code.
Register HERE

Kitchen Classique Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

Kitchen Classique Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

This glass and stainless steel salt and pepper grinder set features a modern design and is stylish and elegant enough for kitchen-to-table use!
See the review and learn about this prize HERE

Elitea® 200g Prime Quality Chinese Daily Green Tea

Elitea® 200g Prime Quality Chinese Daily Green Tea

Green tea is high in antioxidants that can improve the function of your body and brain.
See the review and learn about this prize HERE

KI Store Battery Operated Cordless Touch Screen LED Lighted Vanity Cosmetic Make Up Mirror

KI Store Battery Operated Cordless Touch Screen LED Lighted Vanity Cosmetic Make Up Mirror

Learn about this prize HERE

And Now For The A Gift For Me – A Gift For You Giveaway

I would like to give a big shout out to all the blogs
participating in this giveaway! I couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you for bringing this promotion to your readers.
Thank You

By following us on our social networks and by email we are able to get the best giveaways together on the internet! Please take a minute to “like” us on Facebook! 


Chances of winning depend on entries received.
Open to US residents 18 years and older
Winning entry will be verified


A Gift For Me – A Gift For You Giveaway
Disclaimer: Disclaimer: PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, and Freebies nor any blog promoting this giveaway, is not responsible for the awarding of the prize. Sponsors are responsible for prize fulfillment. Any Questions about this giveaway? Email Paula At paula_stewart (at) ymail (dot) com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: PaulaMS received the products mentioned above for free to facilitate the writing of the review. Some of the links on this blog post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, she only recommend products or services that she uses personally and believe will add value to readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Meditation Music

I believe firmly in the power of relaxation and meditation.  My son has recently begun seeing the positive effects it has in his life.


My boy is 8 years old, and he has autism, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety.  Finding things to help him relax can be hard, but when we find something, it’s most definitely worth the search!  The video I’m sharing with you below is one of his favorites.  I massage him at least once a week while playing this video and music.  The melody has become familiar to everyone in my family, and we all relax automatically upon hearing it, because our minds and bodies know it means the lights will be low and there will be some awesome back rubs happening. :)



ThankFULL For Giveaways Blog Hop!

ThankFULL SignUps
Thank you for your interest in the “ThankFULL for Giveaways” Giveaway Hop. This giveaway hop is brought to you by The Hopping Bloggers and hosted by Mama Smith’s & Women and Their Pretties. Please read thoroughly and sign up using the linky below.
Hashtag: #ThankFULL4Giveaways
Date: November 10 – 24, 2015
Star Time: 11/10 – 12:00 am EST • 11/9 – 9:00 pm PST
End Time: 11/24– 11:59 pm EST • 8:59 pm PST


  • This Giveaway Hop will run from November 10th, 2015 {12:00 am EST} through November 24th, 2015 {11:59 pm EST}.
  • Each blog in this Event will have at least 1 prize per winner. You may have more than 1 prize but you may have only 1 spot on the linky per blog.
  • Each blogger is responsible for obtaining his/her own prize. Prizes can be sponsored or self-sponsored.
  • This is an OPEN themed Event – but your prize should be family friendly!
  • To sign up for this FREE Event, add your blog name and e-mail address to the linky below.
  • Please let us know in a timely manner if you are unable to participate in the hop.
  • Prize minimum value of $15 please.
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  1. Google+ Contests and Promotions Policy
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PAID OPTION: For a $10 fee you can co-host this event. You will receive:

  • Be listed as a “co-host” for this event and be in the first 10 of the giveaway linkup.
  • A link to your blog will be included in the opening paragraph listed on everyone’s giveaway.
  • Limited spots available! There are only 8 spots – first come, first served. Once these are full, the Google Form will stop accepting submissions.
  • You will need to be sure to report your link BY October 8th, 2015 at 11:59 am EST to ensure your spot on the linkup. Any late links and links with issues will be moved to the bottom of the linky when we go live, and then removed after 24 hours if not fixed.
  • Sign up here to be a co-host:
  • Co-hosts must post the giveaway hop signup announcement on their blog. You can find the announcement HTML by clicking here.


  • Please join our Facebook Group “The Hopping Bloggers” which is dedicated to this Event and all upcoming Events. A lot of information and reminders will be shared there.
  • After sign ups end, an email with HTML code will be sent to each blogger. This HTML must be posted in your Giveaway Post.
  • Your giveaway post must be live by 12:01 am EST on November 10th, 2015 or you risk removal from the hop linkup.
  • In that email there will also be a Google Form where you will need to submit your scheduled post’s URL – First Come, First Serve style – meaning the sooner you submit your link, the higher up you are on the Giveaway Hop Linkup (unless you are a paid co-host).
  • Please keep your giveaway at 1 or 2 easy mandatory entries. There is no limit on extra entries.
  • Sign-Ups will close on November 6th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST.
  • Posting about this Event, whether by including one of the buttons (below) in your sidebar OR by writing a post is not required to join (unless you are a paid co-host), but we’d love it if you did! You can use #ThankFULL4Giveaways when advertising. You can find the announcement HTML by clicking here.

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To sign up for this Event, add your information in the Linky Below!
Please include your Blog Name as the “Name” along with the link to your blog homepage. This is just the sign up. You do not need to know the giveaway you will feature yet, but start thinking about it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

Involving Your Kids With The Family Budget (It Can Be Fun)!!

1015151153aKids and budgeting. The two really should go hand in hand. So why aren’t more of us involving our kids in the budgeting? Why have so many of us grown up without having been taught how to create, and live by, a budget?


Whatever the reason(s), this is something we can fix in our families. We can change our children’s futures for the better by teaching them this essential skill! Wanna know where to start? Let’s look at some simple things we can do:


  • Pay your child(ren).  Different families have different opinions on how to do this.  Some prefer to have the allowance be just that, an allowance that is given without conditions.  Others like the idea of paying kids after they’ve done something (chores, usually) to earn that money.  I say pick what works best for your family!  I’ve done it both ways, and I personally prefer to allow my kids the opportunity to earn their payment each week.  I like using a chart with a few items on it that I would like each child to do.  When a chore is completed, they are able to check it off for the day, and at the end of the week we have payday, during which we look at all that was completed and pay out accordingly.
  • Include kids in things like shopping and vacation planning.  I never go shopping without a budget, and if my kids are with me, I let them know what that budget is.  For example, we went shopping for Halloween costumes earlier this week, and I let the kids know at the very beginning how much we could spend.  I made it clear that the money I had in the purse had to be enough for ALL of us to get costumes.  When my daughter was trying to decide between two costumes that she liked, she was able to look at the price tags and make the decision.  My son, on the other hand, had a really hard time accepting that he could only pick one.  Which leads me to the next point…
  • Allow your kids to spend their own money (and sometimes that means making their own mistakes).  My son has some money saved up.  He currently is trying to save for Disneyland (what can I say, he dreams big!).  When he got upset while trying to pick just one costume, I gave him the option to spend his OWN money on the 2nd costume.  I reminded him that he is currently saving for and he chose to spend some of that money.  He later felt a little bummed out that he now had less money in his Disneyland fund, but then he put on his costume and wore it all day and decided it was worth the $8 he spent!  I have also found that kids are automatically more cautious with their spending when it’s their own hard-earned moolah!  images
  • Include your kids with grocery shopping, too!  My children and I have had many discussions about the importance of healthy eating, and they know as well as I do that organic foods cost more.  I allow them to make decisions with me at times as to what food brands, flavors, etc to purchase.  They seem much more willing to eat meals and food that they helped to plan out and purchase!
  • Create visuals.  If you have a child saving up for a fairly big-ticket item, something that may take a while to save up for, give them a visual to see that they are getting closer.  Perhaps it’s a coloring page of that item and each time they put another dollar into savings, they are able to color a little more.  Maybe it’s a simple bar graph with preset dollar amounts drawn in that they can fill up as they save.  It’s so fun to see progress being made, for kids and adults, and it will help with motivation.
  • Don’t be afraid to be honest.  Of course we don’t want our kids to be sick with worry if Mom and Dad don’t know how the mortgage will be paid this month, but it’s okay to let our kids know about our own financial mistakes, and the plans we have.  My kids know that we are ALL working together to pay off the rest of my medical bills.  They know that we need to be careful with the money we have.    They also know that they will be fed.  They know that they will always have a place to rest their heads at night.  We give them the assurances they need to feel safe and comforted, and we also keep them informed on the financial progress we are making.  You will know how much to share with your own kids depending on their age levels and maturity.

I love my team!

One of the best things about keeping kids involved is the feeling of unity, of teamwork that it can provide.  My kids know that we are ALL a team, and that we can all contribute and work together to reach our financial goals.



How do YOU involve your kids in your family finances?  Leave a comment and let me know!





A Gift for you, a Gift for me Giveaway – Blogger Opp! 2 comments

Blogger Opportunity: A Gift For Me - A Gift For You Giveaway Sign Ups End 10/24

Welcome To The
A Gift For Me – A Gift For You Giveaway
Sign Ups
This giveaway is for two of each prize – One for the winner and One for a friend!

Retail Value of All Prizes is $550

Hosted By
PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Co-Hosted By

Dates: October 27th, 2015 at 12:01 am EST through November 27th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST

2 Prize Packages!

One Lucky Reader and a Friend will win a prize package valued at $225 EACH


The Hashtag for this opp will be #HolidayGifts
Giveaway open to US residents 18 and older
Sign Ups End October 24th at 6 AM

1 FREE Link for Promoting the BLOGGER OPPORTUNITY  and 1 FREE Link forPosting the GIVEAWAY within 24 hours of it starting

You can choose Any Two Social Media Accounts*

Co-Host spots are available for $7
Included is a co-host page with any 5 links of your choice* in addition to the 2 free for a total of 7 plus a link back to your blog.

Paid Options: Any Additional links from the Free Link Options Above, Daily Votes, Page Visits, Retweets, CAPTCHA Subscriptions, and Blog or Facebook Comments are $1.50 each or 6 for $7.50. Limit 6 per person

Secret Word Pages Available for $3 (I provide the HTML) or $2 (You Create)

*Anything you like as long as it meets user terms of service (ie no mandatory Facebook likes allowed)

Please send Paypal payment to

Put HolidayGifts in the comments

Get Announcement HTML HERE

Sign Up on the Form Below or HERE

If you are a Preferred Giveaway Ambassador you do not need to do anything.
I will email the giveaway HTML when it is ready.

If you would like to add any paid options just fill out the express form HERE

Two Rivers Premium Coffee Gift Box for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, 21 Count
Set of 2 Pure Copper Mugs with Bonus Copper Shot Glass
Aoneky Bearing Jump Rope with Comfort Handles
Elitea® 100g Imperial Jasmine Downy Dragon Pearl Buddha Tears Silver Needle White Tea
Zenik Lavender Eye Pillow
Kitchen Classique Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
Elitea® 200g Prime Quality Chinese Daily Green Tea