Ask Away...: 2018

Monday, January 22, 2018

Bring Some Luxury To Your Living Room

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Want to make your living room look more sophisticated? Here are a few classy touches that can immediately make your living room feel like it’s straight out of a mansion.

Hang some art
A painting on the wall can immediately bring a sense of classiness to the room. This could be placed above or opposite a TV, serving as an extra focal point in the room. Artwork can be anything that takes your fancy from a realistic landscape to an abstract piece. It could even be a painting with some personal value such as a location that means a lot to you or even a portrait of a family member or a pet.

Bring in some bespoke furniture
Bespoke furniture can help to bring unique character to your living room. Hand carved wooden chairs and coffee tables are ideal for bringing this unique touch. Their rustic look can help to contrast modern technology such as TVs and speakers. Amish furniture stores and antique shops are great places for finding hand-carved wooden chairs and tables. Other features could include real fur rugs or a wicker basket for putting in DVDs or magazines.

Add some plants
Some greenery can instantly liven up a drab living room. This could be something big like a potted palm tree or a fruticosa tree. Alternatively, it could be something small to put on a side table or windowsill such as a bonsai tree or a cactus. You could even embrace potted flowers to bring vibrant colours to the room. Plants will often need to be by the window to help them grow, so bear this in mind. 

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Upgrade your curtains
Some elegant drapes can also help to bring a touch of luxury to your room. These can look particularly effective if they trail down to the floor. Make sure that these are suited to the season – big thick curtains in winter will help to provide insulation. Curtains can be creatively used to make a window appear bigger by extending the curtain rail either side of the window.

Install a fireplace
A fireplace can instantly make a room feel more luxurious. Installing a real fireplace with a working chimney is a big and costly job that may not be suited to some properties. Electric fireplaces may not be as striking as the real thing, but can still add a sense of luxury. They’re less costly and can be made to produce heat just like a real fireplace. They’re also a lot less messy than the real thing! Some old houses may already have fireplaces that have since been blocked up – these could be converted back into a fireplace or turned into an electric fireplace.

4 Winter Tips for Dog Owners

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Look I get it, we're all sick of Winter and the messy frigid weather but we aren't alone. While some dogs enjoy the snow, most dogs can get a little stir crazy being cooped up inside and nearly freezing their paws off when they step out to potty. So today I put together 4 tips for dog owners that will help keep your dogs safe and happy during the Winter season.

Keep 'em cozy + warm.
Some breeds have thick coats that are perfect for chilly weather but many short-haired breeds and breeds (like Chihuahuas) are not fans of cold weather. I mean think about it, would you want to stand outside to poop while the wind is blowing you over? Probably not, so consider putting a sweater (with a collar or leash hook) on your pooch so they can stay a little warmer than usual while they do their business. I've even seen people putting little booties on their dog's paws but if your dogs are anything like mine they absolutely won't enjoy that and probably won't even move. Seriously, when mine don't want to wear something they freeze and act like they can't move until I take it off. Rocky enjoys bundling up to do his business so I don't feel so guilty about putting him in a sweater anymore.

People seriously laugh at me and at other people that dress up their dogs but they fail to realize we aren't just doing it for fun. Chihuahuas don't have a ton of fur on their bellies and they are very low to the ground so they get cold FAST! And half the time they can't even see over the snow. It's only right to make sure they are bundled up to keep warm in this weather.

Check 'em over.
On days where the weather is extreme and icy or snowy you should always check your dog's paws and fur for things that may make them uncomfortable. Clumps of snow that freeze into little ice balls can get so cold it's painful when stuck underneath their body or even in between their paw pads. Keep a flashlight near the door so you can inspect their paws for salt and ice. Salt can sometimes burn their paws so it's a good idea to find a pet-friendly salt for your walkway. 

If you see your dog licking their paws obsessively after you bring them inside, make sure there's nothing stuck underneath. Also keep in mind that just because the ground is covered with snow, doesn't mean there aren't hazardous things that can poke and stick them. When the dangers of thorns and rocks are covered with snow your dog could easily go galloping over them with excitement thinking they are just going to hit snow. This can cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises. This also leads into the next tip which is why it's good to shovel a pathway.

Shovel a spot for them to go.
Whenever we shovel our walkway I always create a path that leads into the grass and forms a little circle so when Rocky has to do his number 2 business he has room to walk around and find where he wants to go. This way he isn't standing in a couple of inches of snow while he tries to go. Plus it makes cleaning up after him easier because I know where to look!

It's also safer for a dog to have a path to follow through snow so they aren't accidentally stepping over thorny bushes or sharp stones that you have in your landscaping.

Fight boredom.
Just like we get bored being stuck in the house, dogs get bored too. Some dogs are even known to get into more trouble and mischief from their boredom. Even though my dogs are tiny they still get bored because they can't go lay outside in the porch and if you follow me on social media you know that my dogs basically live in the porch in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

I always provide them with toys to keep them busy but I also love to give them treats to reward them for behaving and to keep them occupied. 

A fan favorite in our home are Blue Buffalo Blue Stix in Bacon Flavor from Chewy! These are soft so they're great for their little Chihuahua teeth but they are also made with USA pork as the first ingredient. There are wholesome ingredients inside and no by product meals, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial ANYTHING! When choosing treats make sure you aren't feeding "junk food" to your pet and make sure it's something safe that they can't choke on. I always stay in the room and monitor the dogs until they've finished their Stix which honestly doesn't take very long.

         Does your pooch enjoy this weather? 

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Stella's ACL Injury + How I'm Helping Her Recover

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As an owner of 4 dogs it's no surprise that health scares will come up from time to time.  This time it was right after Christmas and it happened to Stella.  It seems she has an ACL injury.   For quite some time I did notice she hobbled but I assumed it was because she's overweight.  Well the week of Christmas she was holding her back right foot up completely so the day after Christmas I took her into my vet office to see what was going on. 

They did some X-rays and $300 later it was determined that she basically has an ACL tear.  Of course I was panicking the whole time assuming that it meant surgery but the vet reassured me that unless you have a super athletic or working dog, surgery is usually not necessary.  Instead, I would be able to help Stella heal in a more conservative way.  Having a small dog is an already an advantage because it's easy for me to control her.  

It turns out that with some rest, careful monitoring so she isn't jumping around like a crazy pup on her leg, some join supplement, and losing weight, Stella can recover. 

So I majorly cut back on her food and have been giving her green beans mixed in with the small amount she does have.  She's already lost half a pound since August so I know I can get her to lose another pound - pound and a half.  I think ideally she should be down to 6 pounds.  I can already see her losing her belly! Hooray!

The vet put Stella on a special supplement and since Chihuahuas often get joint and bone issues I wanted to make sure I take care of the rest of the pups by starting them on a Glucosamine supplement from Chewy.
NaturVet Glucosamine DS Plus MSM & Chondroitin Soft Chews are for both dogs and cats to help maintain joint flexibility and support healthy hip and joint function.  It also helps alleviate aches and discomfort that comes from daily exercise and it's time release formula comes in a chewable tab. 

They obviously taste great because my dogs seem to think they're getting treats whenever I give them their chews.  The formula has ingredients that help support the joints and connective tissues as well as antioxidants to help protect against free radicals that can cause cellular damage. 

I also have put down some carpet runners in the paths Stella normally walks since we have hardwood floors and the vet said that it's important that she doesn't do anything to strain or reinjure herself. 

The vet said that if I do all of the above for Stella then in 8-12 weeks we should see a great improvement.  I'm lucky that Stella is already so docile because it's not like she's going to be changing her activity level much. It's been about 3-4 weeks so far and I can tell her weight has gone down which is great because that means less pressure on her joints and ligaments.

Have you ever had a dog with an ACL injury? What did you do?  

I'll keep you guys posted on her progress!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How to Keep Warm When It's Frigid Outside

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Hopefully you don't live where I live and the air doesn't hurt your face. I live in Pennsylvania so we can have really nasty winter cold. I think most places across the country experience a major dip in temperatures on a yearly basis but for those of you that are super intolerant to it, there are some easy and realistic ways to keep warm. 

I don't mind the cold as much as I do the humidity in the Summer because I can always do things to get warmer. But when I'm hot there's only so much I can do to cool off and of course there are only so many layers you can strip off before having the police called because you're walking around your backyard naked. 

Here are some life hacks for keeping warm when it's so cold that you can't feel your face...great now I'm humming that song.

Wrist Warmers || Seriously I love these things.  They are great for in the office or just at home when I need to use my fingers but I want my hands warmed up.  You can find
wrist warmers in different colors and styles and not only will you look cute but you really will warm up your hands.

Layering || Layering is my favorite cold weather fashion tip because it's cozy and comfy and it's always trendy.  Usually I layer a warm top with a scarf and a jacket.  Not only do you get to use more pieces from your closet but it's fun to mix the styles and patterns.

Cozy Socks || It may be fun to go barefoot in your house but did you ever notice that when your feet are cold your whole body is cold? I don't wear socks to bed but when I'm just hanging around the house I always wear cozy socks and I noticed that they keep me warm no matter how cold it is outside.  We also don't have a heated basement so our floors are cooler to the touch which makes it not so fun to go barefoot.  So get your coziest pair of socks and embrace the warmth!

Block Drafts || Even standing near a drafty window or door can make you shiver.  Obviously new windows (like what we need soon) will be better insulated to regulate temperature but if you have older windows and you notice it feels very drafty around them you can keep the curtains drawn and also consider a draft blocker for windows.  You can do the same for doors that you can feel cold air coming underneath.  Some people make their own draft blockers too!

Keep A Sweater EVERYWHERE || It's always a good idea to have a "big ugly sweater" or a cardigan in your car, at your office, and at home.  I'm talking about those super heavy knit ones that will make you overheat if you stay in them for too long.   If you are freezing and super uncomfortable toss your big ugly sweater on for 30 minutes till you warm up.

Hot Tea || This is the more obvious tip but it really does help warm you up from the inside out.  There's nothing better than a cup of warm tea in the afternoon to invigorate you.  At the same rate, I like to enjoy a cup of hot tea (sleepy tea of course!) to help me wind down in the evening!  Even just holding the hot mug helps warm my cold fingers and hands up.

Hopefully, these tips help you warm up and stay cozy on even the most frigid of days.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Driving Yourself Safely Through the Remainder of Winter

It would be an absolute car-tastrophe if you were to have an accident on the roads now, especially after you’ve already come through the bulk of the bad winter weather without having one, wouldn’t it? And the answer to that is, yes, it would!

To, make sure that you having an accident in these last months of winter is categorically not the case, make sure you are continuing to drive yourself as safely throughout these remaining months as you have done so thus far this winter. For advice on how to do just that, make sure to read.

Remember, as long as it is still winter, driving is still always harder and adverse weather is still always possible

There are two things that are absolutely certain about winter: it is a terrible time of the year to be a driver and it is always likely to produce bad weather.

In regards to the former, the whole of the wintertime is a tough time to be a driver, and this should never be forgotten. This means that, even though you may be used to the demands of winter driving now after months of practicing it, you still can’t rest on your laurels. You still can’t expect everything to be okay with your driving, especially if the roads are icy, just because you’re now used to it. Quite simply, accidents can occur at any point during the winter, and this should not ever be forgotten or brushed aside.

In regards to the latter, yes, right from its earliest days in November all the way to its last in May, the winter has the potential to spring any sort of weather surprises upon us. One day it may be exceedingly mild, the next 4-foot of snow could have dropped. You never quite know what is going to happen. And, because you never quite know what is going to happen, you have to plan for all eventualities in regards to your driving; first and foremost, this means never leaving your home in your car without having packed things that could be used to keep your warm upon the event of you being stuck in your car in the snow, such as a thick blanket and coat. Also, this means always ensuring you have things like a spare wheel and a snow shovel packed in your car so that you are always prepared for having to get your car out of a situation where it cannot move.

You still have time to consider getting yourself a car that is perfect for the winter

Winter may already be in full-swing, but that doesn’t mean there is still not time for you to get out there and purchase yourself a car that drives perfectly in the winter. And, if you truly want to stay safe during the remainder of the winter season, then this is in fact recommend.

One such car that drives perfectly in the winter is the Suzuki Swift, thanks mainly to its built-in ALLGRIP patterned technology. What this system offers the Swift is the chance to stay gripped to the road — whatever road it is and whatever condition the road is in — as if it were a hot summer’s day even during the coldest of winter mornings. And, another car that is equally as winter-ready is Range Rover Sport SUV, thanks in part to the sheer size of the thing!

And you still have time to make adjustments to your current car, too

You don’t need to splash out on a new car (unless you really want to, that is) if you want to protect yourself as much as you can when out on the road. No, you still have the option of adjusting your current car, too, and furthermore you still have the time to do so.

When it comes to doing so, make sure to consider having your brakes checked and subsequently worked upon if they have at all slowed in pace or bite; doing so might just stop you ploughing into a car in front of you and subsequently having to get experienced car accident lawyers on your side, at a cost, to protest your innocence. Something else that you should consider doing to your car is making sure your heating units are blowing out the exact heat you ask them to at the exact moment you do so; doing so might just make those cold drives in the morning a little bit more bearable, no matter how many of those cold mornings there are left to bare.

Soon we will be able to see a light at the end of the winter tunnel, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop taking your winter driving safety less seriously than you did a month ago.

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My January POPSUGAR Must Have Box

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The January POPSUGAR Must Have box has arrived and I am really loving it this month!   The theme of the items seems to celebrate the fact that it's a new year and we need to make the most of the cold weather!

Before I show you what was in my box, for those of you wondering, the POPSUGAR Must Have box comes each month and costs $39.95 with free shipping.  You'll get a nice selection of items delivered right to your door and there's usually one or two items that you get to customize like choosing the color of jewelry for instance.  

Nuun Hydration || The Nuun Strawberry Melon Vitamins are perfect for this time of year when we need to keep our immune system in mind and take care of our body with vitamins.  These tablets are fruity and have 10 calories.  They hydrate better than water alone does and they are packed with electrolytes and vitamins! The retail price is $7.

RXBAR || I've been dying to try one of these bars so I was super excited to see this in my box.  The Chocolate Sea Salt was delicious! For a protein bar I was very impressed.  The ingredients are always very simple and listed on the front.  Egg whites, almonds, and dates.  These bars are gluten free, soy free, and dairy free and are perfect when you need a snack after a good workout. The retail price is $1.99.

KeepCup Clear Edition || The KeepCup is so cool! It's an eco friendly way  to enjoy coffee.  This isn't made of glass so if you drop it there's no worries.  It's a great size for my morning coffee at my desk! The retail price is $19.

Hat Attack Lightweight Ribbed Hat || This hat is so adorable and I love the faux fur pom on top.  The color is neutral which means I can style it with many different outfits and outerwear.  I love wearing it slouchy like I did over the weekend but you can also cuff it if you want.  The retail price is $44.

Ban.Do Wall Calendar || To celebrate the new year, this is an awesome calendar that is full of bright colors and catchy phrases to keep you going throughout the year.  There is even a page of stickers to decorate the calendar.  The retail price is $20. 

Farmacy Beauty Honey Drop Moisturizer || I've heard of this brand before and I was excited to see I would finally get to try it out.  The winter can wreak havoc on my skin and this lightweight moisturizer has superfood ingredients, honey, and hyaluronic acid.  I actually started wearing it under my makeup too since I hate when I have flaky skin at work.  The retail price is $45. 

Of all the subscription boxes out there I like the selection of items and the affordable pricing of this box the best.  To sign up and get the February box click here.

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Getting Over the Fear of Investing

The idea of investing in a business, or buying shares on the stock market can be very appealing. We’ve all heard fantastic success stories where people have bought a few shares in a new up and coming internet startup, only to find those shares are worth an absolute fortune when the company makes it big. But, we also know that it can be much more complicated than this, and that very few people get so lucky straight away. So, despite its appeal, investing can be intimidating. Many of us would love to do it, but the idea of watching stocks, monitoring trade prices and keeping tabs on the stock exchange terrifies us. So, we just don’t bother.

This is a shame, as if you can get past that fear and make some good investments, you could make a lot of money without having to do much at all.

Educate Yourself

The best way to get over any fear is learning. One of the biggest causes of any fear is a lack of understanding. The same is true of investing. We’re scared because we don’t understand. Read books, look online at tutorials and learn as much as you can about how stocks work, how to invest, and investment strategies.

Get Help

Read this finviz review to get an idea of the kind of help that’s out there. You don’t need to go into this alone. There are websites, apps and companies that can help you figure out what you are doing, make investments for you, and even look after your portfolio.

Set a Budget

Another big fear is losing our hard earned savings. Yes, we’ve heard stories about people who got lucky and made a fortune. But, we’ve also heard tales of those that have made foolish investments and lost everything. The key here is never investing any more than you can afford to lose. This way, you haven’t really got anything to worry about.

Start Small

You don’t need to go in big and invest your whole budget straight away. Start as small as you feel comfortable and build up slowly. If you want to invest in a large company, you can start with just a fraction of a share to dip your toe into the investment market. Then as you find your feet, begin to learn more and feel more in control, make larger, more meaningful investments.

Make a Plan and Keep It Simple

Investment strategies can seem very complicated, and perhaps unnecessary if you only want to spend a small amount. But, they don’t need to be. Keep things simple so that you can spot problems and make changes easily without getting overwhelmed when everything starts to change.

Just Do It

Prepare and learn as much as you can. But, there will come a time when you just have to take the plunge. We can spend years putting things off because we’re scared, eventually giving up on something that we could have loved. When you are ready, just do it. Make that first investment and don’t look back.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

What Expenses Should I Claim As A Blogger at Tax Time? || FREE PRINTABLE

Tis the season for taxes! Right about now, all of the bloggers out there are sifting through expense receipts, waiting on 1099's and hoping that they get a decent tax return. Whether blogging is your full time job or just a side gig that gives you some occasional income, it's important to keep track of your expenses and income.

You may be wondering what expenses a blogger may have and that's exactly what I'm writing about today. There are lots of things you may be able to write off as an expense when it comes to blogging. My best suggestion is to not worry about what percentage of certain expenses will get counted because that's for your tax preparation person or software to do. From what I know, for things like utilities, they take the square footage of your home office and use that to calculate what part of your utilities goes towards that room.

So here are some expenses you may be able to take advantage of when it comes to claiming them on your taxes. **Please note that I am not in any way ANY TYPE of tax expert and these tips are just from my experience and what I've done.

Bills // You can claim bills such as utilities like water, electric, and cable (for internet) as well as your cell phone bill if you are using social media.

Meals // If you have blogger lunches or meet up with people to collaborate and you ate lunch at a restaurant or café, you can claim that expense.

Mileage and Gas// If you drive to attend events you blogged about make sure you note the mileage of your car before and after the trip as well as save any gas receipts if it was a long trip that required you to gas up.

Conference Expenses// Attending a conference and paying for registration is an obvious expense and so are any travel expenses you may have incurred like flight, train, cab fare, and hotel stays.

Clothing // If you purchase clothing for outfit posts or for events you attended to blog about you can claim those so make sure you note on the receipt if they were for specific posts, etc.

Web Hosting Fees // If you host your blog on a domain through a site like Go Daddy make sure you claim your yearly fees.

Advertising // Any time you pay into a group giveaway that counts as advertising. Any time you pay to promote a post on social media that counts as advertising.

Giveaways and Shipping Costs //
If you routinely ship giveaway prizes to your readers you can claim those shipping expenses as well as

Items Purchased for Sponsored Posts // If you do sponsored posts and you had to purchase the product yourself, you can claim that as an expense to help even out what you'll pay in taxes on the payment you received. Make sure you keep your receipts and write on the top of the receipt which brand it was for.

Salon Costs // If you do a lot of photo shoots (fashion bloggers, etc.) you can claim any beauty expenses as long as they were done for your blog.

Office Supplies // Paper, printer ink, writing utensils, computer equipment, office equipment like staplers, etc. can all be written off as expenses at tax time. Keep track of all receipts as best you can.

Photo Props // If you have purchased items specifically for photos that you use as blog graphics or "pretty items" for your social media posts and you use those in multiple photos, go ahead and claim the costs.

There are probably plenty more items depending on who you are and what business you run but as a basic blogger this list should really give you a good start.

Make sure to print this list out and hang it somewhere in your home office or keep it in your blogging binder to constantly remind you of the things to track.

If you have any other suggestions of things you can claim at tax time please feel free to leave them below!
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3 Little Steps To Help You Take Control Of Your Life In 2018

In today’s fast paced, hectic and unpredictable world, don’t you sometimes feel like you’re being swept along on a tidal wave? Does each year pass quicker than the last? Do you spend way too much time wondering how things got so out of control? When did the price of living get so high? When did it become so difficult to manage your household debt? When did your career feel like being on a treadmill upon which you slog away without ever seeming to get anywhere? Speaking of treadmills, when did it become so darned difficult to keep in shape? It seems like yesterday that you were able to eat whatever you want relatively consequence free, so why do you put on 10lbs every time you so much as look at a cupcake? While none of these factors is world shattering on its own, they can conspire to create a feeling like your life is spiralling out of control.
Image by Pixabay

No doubt you, or someone in your household began this year by making a series of resolutions and while there may be value in this (even though psychologically the deck is stacked against New Year’s resolutions) we propose something a little more efficient. We propose 5 little life changes which can make a big difference in asserting control over your health, your personal finances and even your career…

Manage your meals

Poor planning can seriously derail your health and financial goals for the new year. You’d be astonished by the difference effective meal planning can make. Eating healthily needn’t be a gruelling chore not should it mean starving your body of necessary calories. Planning home cooked, nutritionally balanced meals that are chock full of veggies, fruits, complex carbohydrates and lean protein sources like beans, legumes and pulses can make a huge difference to your waistline while also helping you to keep your household costs under control. If you eschew your usual Friday night takeout for a month or two you could likely save hundreds!

Get your debts under control

Household debt is nothing to be ashamed of, but bury your head in the sand and it can be easy to see your debts spiral out of control. See how much you could save with a debt consolidation loan calculator. Numerous debts with different APRs can be difficult to manage and take a psychological toll. Replacing them all with a single loan at a set rate of interest will give you peace of mind while making your debts easier to repay. It’ll even help your credit rating too!

Invest in improving yourself

Nothing makes time pass quicker like settling into a routine. Get up, make breakfast, go to work, come home, make dinner, collapse in front of the TV, go to bed. It’s easy to see why this is a formula that can make years go by like hours. It’s easy to fall into a rut if you carry on like this, so it’s up to you to break the cycle. Whatever you invest in learning a new skill, indulging a creative itch or trying to move your life in a new direction is always worth it. Take an art class, learn to salsa, learn a new language, take that business course at night school you’ve been considering for years. You might even emerge an entrepreneur!

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

5 Tips To Be A Better Entrepreneur

As a blogger I consider myself an entrepreneur because my blog is basically my brand.  I am responsible for it's success or it's failure.  For me, blogging isn't just a hobby but a way to get extra income.  Whether you're a founder or co-founder of a company like Andrew Charlton or you're just a blogger or small business owner, there are several tips that can help you be a better entrepreneur. 
[1] Know Your Audience
Depending on the protect or service you put out you will need to determine your audience and then focus on them.  Is it millennials looking to become first time homeowners?   Maybe it's middle-aged Americans that are struggling financially that you need to focus on but whomever it may be that needs to be what you focus on.  Some people try to branch out too much too soon.  It's smart to see how you do with your original audience before thinking of ways to expand. 

When I started as a blogger it was to give advice.  That was a broad audience and I had to determine the topics people wanted advice on.  8 years later, I'm able to focus on different audiences based on the content.  Sometimes it's new homeowners looking for decorating tips or maybe it's college graduates that are trying to pay off debt.
[2] Market Your Brand
Unless you hire someone to do your marketing work, you need to be able to sell yourself.  There are several ways to market yourself whether it's simply networking in your region or social media promotion.  Some people collaborate with others in their field to help get their name out there.  Sign up for conferences and trainings to mingle with others and meet other people in your field.   Their audience could easily become your audience as well.  
[3] Invest In Yourself
That old saying that it takes money to make money may seem very cliche but it's also very true.  You can't expect to turn a profit without investing in your brand.  Don't be afraid to spend money to invest in a professional logo or website and don't be stingy with paid advertising.  The better quality your brand reflects, the better impression it will give potential customers.  

When I first started blogging I did everything myself which was fine but I wasn't really growing so I had to invest in a professional web designer to make my blog layout and logo.  I've purchased advertising blocks and paid promotion on social media as well as investing money in conferences and training opportunities.
[4] Take Notes from Others in Your Field
Some people view everyone else in their field as competition and while they could potentially be somewhat of a competitor, you need to pay attention to their advice and what they seem to be doing right especially if you think you are failing at a certain aspect of your business.  As a blogger, I'm friends with lots of other bloggers.  I see them as friends and mentors because I always reach out to them for advice and they do the same with me.
[5] Think Like A Customer
At the end of the day you need to think like your target audience because that's how you can critique your brand. If you think your website is hard to navigate when you visit it like a customer, then you need to consider improving it.   When you go to put your product out ask yourself if YOU would find it useful if you were the customer.  This seems like very basic advice but you would be surprised how many people forget about this. 

Hopefully, these tips help you look closer at what you may be doing right as an entrepreneur or what you need to improve.  

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Win A Cuddle Clone of Your Pet!


Cuddle Clones are the perfect gift for any pet lover. Do you, or someone you know, love their pet so deeply that they cannot image life without them? With Cuddle Clones, you can have a stuffed animal clone of your pet created. Using their amazing technology, time and love Cuddle Clones can use images which will provide and create for you a stuffed clone of your pet.  I have big plans to get Cuddle Clones made of my 4 pups and I have to say it's an amazing idea no matter how old your pet is.   Eventually I know I'll love cuddling with their clones when I can no longer cuddle with THEM.  


Use code MamatheFox for 10% off any order


Cuddle Clones can be:

Dogs, Cats, Horses, Large Birds, Donkeys, Cows, Deer, Goats, Monkeys, Pigs, Reptiles, Sheep, Spiders, Small Birds, Chinchillas, Ferrets, Fish, Gerbils, Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Mice, Micro Pigs, Rabbits, Rats


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Friday, January 12, 2018

Buying A New Pet? How To Bunny-Proof Your Home

Everyone has heard of proofing their home for a new puppy or kitten to move in, however, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to owning a pet rabbit. One of the many symbols of Easter, pet rabbits are incredibly popular for younger children and those owners who would like a smaller pet due to space and convenience. Even though you can house a rabbit outside in the garden, they live a much happier life indoors with their owners as they are incredibly social creatures. Many pet shops will not allow you (Source) to buy just one rabbit on their own due to their social nature, so many owners will choose to have two or more rabbits to allow them companionship and bonding. Even though rabbits are smaller, they require just as much - if not more - responsibility as cats or dogs from their owners to ensure they have the longest and most happy life they could possibly have. You will need to know how to health check them regularly and have pet insurance for each rabbit as their yearly inoculations are quite pricey otherwise. It is also beneficial to their health and wellbeing to have each rabbit neutered or spayed as soon as possible. Rabbits, unlike cats or dogs, are prey animals so hide any injury or health problem as much as possible so that their health can decline incredibly quick if you are not clued into health checks and symptoms to look out for. Their indoor cages should be big enough for a rabbit to hop three times in any direction, however, they should not be confined to a cage for more than a few hours. Having a bunny-proof space for your rabbit to have free reign over will not only maximise their health and happiness but help you to recognise their comedic and loving personalities and bond with your pet even more. Here are a few things you will need to do to bunny-proof a space in your home for your fluffies.

1. Protect All Wires

Bunnies are natural born chewers - as this helps to keep their teeth at a comfortable size due to their continuous growth. It is necessary to always have some untreated wooden toys and sticks on hand to keep your bunnies occupied and give them something to gnaw on. However, it is common if they find a wire in their path that they will chomp down on it too. Getting some cheap plastic casing to conceal any visible and accessible wires in will help to avoid any wire-related mishaps or catastrophes.

2. Partition Some No Access Areas

Bunnies are quite dominant creatures for their small size - and you will have an alpha male/female of your group. He or she will genuinely think they have a right to access all of your house. Although this can be incredibly funny seeing them trying to squeeze through tight fits and hop onto too high of a surface - some areas of your home will not be bunny friendly. The bathroom, kitchen, and like most animals - they won’t be allowed in the bedrooms. Finding a suitable partition - whether it be a wire cage or baby gate - will help to keep your bunnies in their own space. Although, they may rattle the bars of any wire cage in protest - be prepared for that!

3. Buy A Cheap Rug

Bunnies can be trained just like a cat to use a litter box, or their cage, to go to the toilet. However, just like with a cat or dog, it can take time. If you have carpet, you may want to buy a cheap rug in order to protect it from staining. On the other hand, if you have hardwood flooring your bunnies may struggle to hop, bunny 500 (a happy-infused sprint) and binky (a funny jump they do to show they are incredibly happy). So putting a rug down will ensure your bunnies have the most fun - and you get the cutest videos of them binkying around.

It is always good to do a lot of in-depth research before you adopt or bring a pet home from the pet shop. If you are thinking of getting a rabbit - they make wonderful, friendly, adorable pets that will continuously bring you joy. You just have to make sure everything is pre-prepared for bringing them home, as it can be a nerve-wracking experience for them being introduced to a new space.

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