5 Books That Will Completely Change Your Life

Nothing beats a great book and these are so amazing they're worth reading every single year!

I’m a HUGE fan of self-help books…though not even slightly a fan of referring to them as “self-help books.”  So I’m going to call them what they are – motivational books.  These are the books that get you so excited in the morning that you achieve way more than you normally do.  You have an extra beat in your step.  You exercise more, you eat better.  You smile more and you sleep better.  They literally have the power to transform your life. And when they’re that good, you should definitely reread them every single year (which is what I try to do).

So what are the best of the best?  The ones you should definitely reread every single year?  😉  Here they are:

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10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for 3-Year Old Boys

Christmas with a 3-year old is so much fun because they finally understand everything that is going on! This makes stockings way more fun. Here are some great ideas for stocking stuffers for your 3-year old!

Christmas for your 3-year old is a BIG deal.  In many ways, it’s almost like their first Christmas because they’re finally old enough to understand everything and get excited!  Which means you obviously don’t want to leave out any detail – including the stocking!  Stockings are a ton of fun to shop for, but obviously you don’t want to spend too much money. All of these ideas are relatively cheap, but don’t forget about the easy wins, like their favorite snacks!  Those will help to fill up the stocking so you can mix it up with other nice things.  

 

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How to Use PicMonkey to Create Your Blog & Website Images

PicMonkey is one of the greatest free tools I've come across as a blogger. Nothing will transform your site like amazing photos! If you're not using PicMonkey yet, you need to start.

If you have a blog or website, you already know (or will surely find out soon) that high-quality images are almost more important than the content of your site.  As they say – an image is worth a thousand words.  When your images aren’t up to par, not only is it way harder to market your material and products, but it also can appear unprofessional.  That is why it is essential to learn how to use PicMonkey (or other sites like it) to improve your images.

Basically, it’s worth the investment to find and create amazing images.  And luckily nowadays you really don’t need to pay for a thing, so the only real investment is your time.

My absolute favorite go-to site for editing and creating images without a doubt is PicMonkey. It’s totally free, though I’ll be honest that this is one of the few online services where I pay for the upgraded version.  I stubbornly refused to pay for years and then when I finally gave in, the increase in quality of my images paid me back 10 fold. Every single image that appears on my blog has been put through PicMonkey for minor or major edits, or has been created there from scratch.  I’m telling you, if you use (or need) a lot of images, this site will be a game changer.

It’s fairly easy to play around with and figure out on your own, but here are my best tips to make the most of it and transform your images:

 

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10 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for 1-Year Old Boys

Shopping for 1-year olds can be really tough, but it's so fun when you get the right stuff! This list should come in handy for picking stocking stuffers that your 1-year old will love.

Shopping for 1-year olds can be so much fun.  Everything is brand new to them!  But it can still be tough because they haven’t quite grown into full-blown toys and there’s just so much out there to choose from.

My son was fortunate to be showered with gifts as a 1-year old and there were definite, obvious winners.  Luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot for these little guys, which is especially the case when you’re looking to fill up their first little stocking!  All of these gifts are inexpensive and small, so they’re perfect for little stocking stuffers!  

Related post: 10 Gifts that 1-Year Old Boys Will Love

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10 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score

Having a high credit score is so important if you ever want to invest in real estate, or even just take out a credit card! Here are some great tips to raise your credit score to get the best rates possible.

If you ever want to borrow money – whether for an emergency or to make an investment – you’ve got to have a good credit score.  It will make the borrowing process ten times easier and more importantly, it will get you a lower interest rate on your loan.  In the end, it will put more money in your pocket (and not the bank’s). Whether you’re just starting to build your credit or need to increase your credit score, here are some quick and easy fixes that could make a huge difference:

Related post: How to Buy Your First Investment Property

 

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20 Ways to Incorporate the ABC’s into your Toddler’s Day

I love watching my son learn the ABC's and there are so many fun ways to teach him! Check out this list for some good ideas.

The ABC’s are one of the funnest things to start teaching your toddler – assuming they’re interested in learning. Luckily, there are so many different ways to incorporate the ABCs into their day – and more importantly, a billion ways to start exposing them to their letters so that they start to pick it up on their own.

Having a late talker, we were obsessed with learning the ABCs, so I’ve tested out more than you can imagine.  Here are some of the coolest ideas I’ve come across, as well as some new fun things to try:

 

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20 Unbelievable Thomas the Train Gifts for Your Thomas-Obsessed Little Boy

If you've got a little boy that loves Thomas the Train, then this is the list for you!

My son is obsessed with trains.  And leading the pack of all-things-trains is, of course, the one and only Thomas the Train.  I don’t know what it is, but something about that show has him completely mesmerized…so I’m always on the hunt for Thomas the Train gifts.   

Luckily, from that little boy obsession has sprouted an entire industry of Thomas the Train accessories and toys.  And while I’d love to say that my (not) crafty-self has discovered a way to make the equivalent of Thomas from scratch, the reality is that nothing makes me happier than discovering a new Thomas gift that sends my little guy over the moon.  He’s just too cute!

So if you’re in need of a new Thomas friend or accessory for your little one, check out these winners in our house:

 

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6 Ways to Make Money as a Writer

Making money as a writer is a great source of income, whether you're looking for part-time or full-time pay. This list is a great resource to get you started!

Writing is a funny thing.  You don’t necessarily have to be an expert at it to make money doing it.  You just need to be an expert at something – and that’s what you write about.  If you do happen to be gifted at writing then you’ve got an extra leg up, but it’s not a prerequisite.

Better yet, writing is one of the most flexible, gratifying jobs out there. You’re creating something tangible (even if it’s only available in cyberspace) and you get better and better the more you write.

In my opinion, everyone should spend some of their time writing.  The benefits are endless, but the obvious ones can’t be ignored –

  • You can do it from anywhere, at anytime
  • You can write about anything
  • It makes you better at whatever you’re writing about
  • You can make some easy money!

If you haven’t considered writing for a living (or just on the side), it’s time to think about it!  And if you’re ready to start dabbling, consider some of these ways to make money as a writer (whether full-time or part-time):

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7 Reasons to Consider Living in a Small House

Tiny homes are all the rage these days and there's a good reason why! Here are 7 great reasons to consider forgoing the mansion and settling in a smaller home.

When my husband and I bought our first (and current) house, we loved it because we felt like it was the perfect starter home.  It is small and cozy and perfect for two people – maybe a little baby too.  The plan was to live there for 3-5 years and then move onto a bigger, more spacious McMansion-style home where we’d raise our kids.

We’re now 6 years in and each additional year we seem to dig our heels in further, finding new reasons why our small starter house may actually be our perfect forever home.  Because believe it or not, there are some amazing perks to living in a small home.

So before you sign up for 30 years of paying off your mansion, consider these reasons for picking a small house right from the start:

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