My Life In Pictures: February 16 – 29, 2016

Back in October, I started what I thought was the best idea EVER: To share my Instagram pictures a couple of times a month since I can’t seem to find time to write! I decided to call it My Life In Pictures. You can see all of my previous posts here. So here’s what I’ve been up to the last couple of weeks.

I shared a picture of Ethan’s freckles, and so of course I have to share Mia’s too!

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Lila doesn’t have them as predominantly as the other two, but how old is that kid again? She looks like she’s 6 going on 16…

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The girls went to the Father Daughter Dance at school with their very handsome Daddy! I can’t believe how big they are getting. I may or may not have cried.

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I have never been prouder of Lila then when she got a Teacher’s Choice Award for her HUGE progress in reading! She went from reading (way) below grade level to reading at the exact level she should be at! She worked so hard to improve, and she now looks forward to our nightly reading.

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Spring is here! And I have the allergy symptoms to prove it. If you’re in the same boat I am, I have some makeup tips here for how to avoid allergy face. A friend of mine mentioned that essential oils may help? Anybody have an luck with that? Or tips? I could really use some advice!

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I shared the simplest trick ever to easily clean a Foreman grill after posting this picture and a friend complaining about having to clean the grill. People went crazy for it!

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Well, it finally happened. I’ve become a Soccer Mom. Jason is coaching Ethan’s soccer team, which means my car has officially turned in to a moving locker. It’s really pain too because when I go grocery shopping I have to pile groceries on top of cones, balls, chairs, equipment, water bottles, dirty socks, and all kinds of other fun stuff. 

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And I am SUPER excited about this! My 6 year blog anniversary is coming up in just a couple of weeks, so I’ve decided to  redo my blog! I don’t know if I’ll be doing it all myself, but I decided to pick up Melissa Culbertson’s book Blog Design for Dummies. I’m so excited about this book that I’m going to review it soon.

Let me tell you, even if you are a new blogger, interested in blogging, or aren’t considering a blog makeover, you need to read this book! It is FULL of such great advice and how to’s, and even after all these years of blogging, I learned a ton. I highly recommend you reading Blog Design for Dummies because it will help your blogging game. I also recommend that you subscribe to Melissa’s blog Blog Clarity.

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I need your help! I’m thinking of making this a bi-weekly or monthly link up. Would you participate?


Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and/or other affiliate sites.

I’m At SITS Talking How To Get Started On Twitter

I LOVE Twitter. I’m not sure if I love Twitter or Pinterest more, but if I could only play on those two social media channels  forever, I’d be a happy girl. But when you’re a newbie, trying to figure out how to get started on Twitter can be confusing.

I woke up this morning to see some traffic heading to my post Tips To Get Started On Twitter. Interested to find out why, I checked my traffic stats to see that it was featured over at SITS!

So if you are looking for Tips To Help You Get Started on Twitter, head over and read my tips about how to join the party (no really, I think of Twitter like a party!)

Everything you need to know about how to get started on Twitter. This is a great guide for people who recently started using Twitter, or aren't really sure what they are doing over there.



For more tips on how to get started on Twitter, read my post How To Gain (& Lose!) Twitter followers.

What tips can you share about how to get started on Twitter?

Twitter Followers: How To Gain (Or Lose) Followers On Twitter

From a blogging standpoint, those who know me know that I LOVE Twitter. Facebook? Not so much. Pinterest of course! But the love of my social media life is Twitter. I occasionally have bloggers that are just starting out how to do certain things. How to get a sponsored post to write. How to build a blog community (loyal readership). Blog tips for those just starting out. Recently I’ve been asked: How do you get Twitter followers and How do you decide which Twitter followers to unfollow?

So I decided to create a list of what makes me follow or unfollow Twitter followers. Some of these suggestions are mine, while some of them came from tweeps (the lovely people of Twitter) when I asked how they decide to follow and unfollow people on Twitter. I can’t tell you how to buy Twitter followers because I don’t know how, and would never, EVER consider doing it. But I can tell you what has worked for me since I started tweeting. All of my followers were gained organically.

twitter_followersHow To Decide Who To Follow On Twitter (And What You Can Do To Get More Twitter Followers)

Follow People Who…

Spread the Love  If you tweet links to posts that you enjoyed reading or retweet a link, chances are most tweeps will follow you.

Other ways to spread the love include responding to a question asked by including your answer with a retweet. Tell your followers about tweeps that you like and that they should follow. If you see that I’m trying to promote something (maybe a Twitter party or a guest post) and you retweet it, that makes my heart happy.

But this isn’t one-sided; is should be reciprocal. Not every single time, but regularly try to help spread the love.

Have a Sense of Humor Most tweeps that I asked responded that they follow people who make them laugh. You don’t have to be a comedienne; if something funny happens send out a quick tweet so that others can enjoy it too.

Have Common Interests If you are a mom of young children and twins like I am, you might want to find other tweeps who are in your same boat. I also follow lots of food bloggers because I love finding and trying new recipes and sharing foodie tips. If you have a hobby or interest, do a search using hashtags related to it to find people with similar interests.

How To Decide Who To UnFollow On Twitter (And What NOT To Do So You Don’t Lose Twitter Followers)

Unfollow People Who…

Auto Direct Message (DM) Send out a generic “Thanks for the follow now go follow me on Facebook (or go visit my website)” direct message, and I will automatically unfollow you no matter what. Send out a “Hi Natalie! Thanks for following and I look forward to your tweets” direct message I may or may not unfollow after I check to see if you interact a lot with others.

Another automatic no-follow is if you tweet and ask others to follow you. If I look at your history and see you’ve also already tweeted 100 other people the same request, no way I’m following you. You are probably spam.

twitter_eggHave a Profile Picture of the Twitter Egg If you are an egg, no follow. I understand that some people don’t want to have their photo out there for the world to see, but there’s no reason to be an egg. To me, and other tweeps, an egg represents that you are a spam account. And ain’t nobody got time to be following spam accounts.

If you don’t want to use your personal photo, find a common interest and use that. For example, I could use my blog button or a picture of a recipe or something. Anything but the Twitter egg!

Don’t Have a Profile Description It takes a full two seconds to complete a short profile description letting others know what you are all about. If you don’t have one, you are probably spam.

Never Respond To Anybody If you tweet out a question and then don’t even bother responding back to me when I respond, that tells me you really didn’t want to interact. Also? It’s rude.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I don’t respond to every, single tweet I get…but I bet I do respond to 95% of them or more. Even if it’s just saying thank you.

So over a period of time, people who never, ever respond back to you really aren’t worth following. Unless it’s Justin Timberlake. Celebrities and huge brands I don’t expect to tweet back. But when they do, it makes my day!

Have a Gazillion Followers and Only Tweet Links (Or Only Tweet Out Links No Matter How Many Followers!) No interaction? No follow. If someone just spews out links all day, what’s the purpose of following?

TYPE IN ALL CAPS These tweeps have no online manners or know how…and 99% of the time, they probably are the same people tweeting out links all day.

Tweeps also mentioned they unfollowed people who tweeted judgmental, racist, and sexist tweets. They also unfollow people who tweet bad grammar and poor spelling. Tweeps like people who tweet regularly, but not constantly. One tweep said ” I don’t think anyone is so interesting that they need to take up 80% of my feed.” I agree. Nudity, vulgarity, and too much political talk will also get you unfollowed by the tweeps that responded to my question.

How do you decide who to keep as your Twitter followers and who you unfollow?

Have any questions about Twitter? I’m writing a follow up post so if you have a question, be sure to leave it in the comment section!

Learn How To Make Money Blogging With Tip Junkie!

Things might be quiet around here over the next month…I am participating in Tip Junkie’s BRING HOME THE BACON IN 31 DAYS OR LESS! online workshop so that I can learn how to make money blogging…and I have some work to do already!

Learn How To Make Money Blogging


The workshop includes:
-30 days of teaching with easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to complete each task.
-16 Checklists and Printables to help you stay organized and on course.
-17 How-to Videos to help you follow along with Laurie so you know you did the step correctly. 

Laurie Turk (AKA Tip Junkie) knows a thing or two about making money on her blog…she makes over $12,000 (yes, THOUSAND!) in passive income every month. I don’t expect to make nearly that much – she has a huge readership and I do not. I already make a bit of passive income, however I’m sure there’s more to be made, and I’m going to find it!

Now I know what you’re thinking – it seems like a lot of money, and it does. But I feel that it’s important for me at this point because I’ve been blogging for 3 years, and I want to learn what I’m already doing right and also find out what I’m doing wrong (or not doing at all!). I’m sure there are lots of things I can do to improve my readership and also make some real money doing what I love.

You will also want to follow along over at Business2Blogger…they are hosting a Mom Blog Money Blog Series that corresponds with Tip Junkie’s online workshop. Even if you don’t purchase the workshop, you will get a TON of great information over at B2B that you will be able to apply to your own blog!

B2B will also hosting Google+ Hangouts where you can interact with Laurie Turk and the ladies at B2B. In fact, they had their first hangout last night (I missed it) all about blog layout and RSS. You can get caught up like I did here.

Are you participating in BRING HOME THE BACON IN 31 DAYS OR LESS!? It’s not too late to sign up! If you sign up for the workshop, let me know! And don’t forget to follow along with Business2Blogger’s Mom Blog Money Blog Series? Let’s do this together!

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links to the online workshop in this post. It’s one of the ways you can make money!

Cleaning Up Blog Posts: Which Ones Do You Keep And Trash?

I’m doing a bunch of cleaning up behind the scenes here on Mommy of a Monster. I’m renaming categories and getting rid of ones I never use. I’m trying to improve SEO on old posts. I’m going through and cleaning up blog posts and getting rid of ones that have nothing to do with anything, and sprucing up posts by getting rid of irrelevant information. I’m just trying to clean the place up.

I’m also trying to figure out if I should keep posts that really don’t ever see the light of day, and wouldn’t even if I cleaned up the SEO for them. Posts like my old Monster Likes (round up of favorite blog posts I found throughout the week) and product reviews that never get any traffic.

Which leads me to asking this question: How do you decide which posts stay and go when cleaning up on your blog? Or am I being crazy by going through and getting rid of posts at all…should I just leave them alone?

I know it sounds a little anal, but I really don’t want a bunch of clutter, you know? I want my readers to only find stuff that is relevant and interesting…not a post about a giveaway that ended two years ago. Help!