Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tips for Using Google Plus at #GrowingCirclesHop


This week we're sharing some G+ Tips at Growing Circles Hop, because we want to be sure you know the benefits and how powerful it can be when used.


This week we're starting off by answering this question:
What is a +1 on Google Plus?
What's the purpose? What does it do for me?

Simply put, a +1 on Google Plus is very similar to like a facebook "like." When you click the +1 button, you're telling the online world that it's something of interest to you, and maybe others will want to check it out too.


Unlike facebook, though, when you give something a +1, it's not shared with friends and followers as a status update. Your +1's are saved in your Google+ profile and displayed for everyone to see there (if you have this setting activated in your preferences in your Google+ Settings). These +1's will also be seen in the home feed of people that have you in their circles, if google thinks it might interest them.

In a nutshell, if someone gives your post a +1, your post now has the potential to be recommended by others. If a G+ user with a large number of circles gives your post a +1, there's a possibility of your post being seen by all, or at least some, of their circles (which also very well could be a whole new audience for you).

So, to wrap up our Week 1 session, here's a quick (less than a minute) video to explain further.



As a blogger, these +1's can give your post a major boost, not just within Google+. When a post of yours has +1's, it shows that it's being viewed and that people value your content. The more you have, the more your post can be seen by others, and the more people will want to click on your link to read the full post! But, as we'll explain in later weeks of our G+ tips, a post doesn't necessarily have to have +1's in order to be seen either (hope that got your attention!).

Sarah is one of our regular #GrowingCirclesHop participants joining our party, and she recently shared a blog post about reasons for bloggers to love Google Plus. We wanted to share it with you today.

Number 1 on Sarah's list of reasons:
Google Plus can be great for building your traffic from search engines!
This reason alone should be peaking your interest as a blogger. We all want traffic to our blogs, right?



Read the full post here, and read why else bloggers should love Google+: 
6 Reasons for Bloggers to Love Google Plus,
by Sarah Fuller






Now for our usual party!!!
Our Party Hashtag Feature Post
will return in a few weeks, but keep using BOTH the linky and the hashtag!


Would you like to Co-Host with us?
We need your help!
Send an email to 2justByou(AT)gmail(DOT)com with "G+ Hop Co-Host" in the subject line and include your blog and G+ links for consideration. We'd love to have you!


 

To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pagesOR -- you can link up a specific G+ post of yours - but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Publicly share a post - (new or old) on G+ and use the party hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag, or enter "growingcircleshop" in the search box at the top. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 and/or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles! Be social. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Mommy Mentionables



Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

Google+ Tips

The real participation comes with sharing a blog post to G+ using the party's hashtag and engaging with others who are also sharing posts from this party. Interaction and engaging with others on G+ will bring you the most success! 
Help spread the word and invite your friends to the Party!
LINK UP below!!! You can now link up your G+ profile page -OR- you can link up a specific G+ post that you've already publicly shared using our party hashtag!  








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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Couture Starter Gel Nail Polish Kit #Giveaway (US ends 3/17)

Couture Starter Gel Nail Polish Kit Giveaway

w/Extra Polish of Winners Choice! ($115 ARV)


I experimented with gel nail polish back in November and had fun with it. You may remember my instagram post back then. I had borrowed that UV gel kit to try it out. The starter kit that we're giving away includes everything you need to get started, plus a cute cosmetic case! I'd love to win this set, wouldn't you? Keep reading to enter for your chance to win!



Sponsored By ~ Couture Gel Nail Polish Hosted By ~ Deliciously Savvy 

PLUS A BIG Thank You To All Other Blogs Helping To Promote This Amazing Giveaway! 


1 LUCKY Winner will receive the Couture Starter Gel Nail Polish Kit w/Extra Polish of Winners Choice! ($115 ARV)

Description Of The Prize:

Gel Nail Polish Kit includes everything you need for a salon-quality gel nail polish manicure at home ($99 ARV):

  • Your Choice of 1 Couture Gel Nail Polish Color
  • Base Coat
  • Super Shine Top Coat
  • LED Espree Salon Lamp with 30 second dry time
  • Instructional DVD and brochure
  • Exclusive Cleanse and Remove Products
  • And a bonus salon quality manicure tool kit
  • Zippered Cosmetic Case
PLUS An Extra Couture Gel Nail Polish Color of Winners Choice ($15 ARV) Check Out Their 
Colors HERE Total Value ($115 ARV)  

Cool Product Facts:
America's #1 Selling Gel Nail Polish! * Over 100 Bold And Beautiful Colors * Up To 3 Weeks Wear * Free From Harmful Chemicals * Made in the USA * No Animal Testing
Hollywood celebrity stylists are choosing Couture Gel Nail Polish for their clients! * Jennifer Lopez * Kristen Bell * Queen Latifah * Oprah * The Cast of Pretty Little Liars * The Cast of Glee
couture333

****And Now The Giveaway!!!****

Giveaway Dates: 2/25 12:00 AM EST until 3/17 12:00 AM EST
Open To Us Residents and must be 18+ to enter
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. 
This giveaway is valid only in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.

Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pinterest Tips & a DIY at Wonderful Wednesday #BlogHop

This is an exciting week at
Wonderful Wednesday! 
Three new blogs joined our list of co-hosts! 
Welcome to the team...
Tammy of My Life Abundant
Jaime of Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide
Brittany of Mommy on Demand


Take a look at last week's entries that you viewed the most...


Most Viewed


Very Popular

MY Editor's Pick
A DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer
All Natural Hand Sanitizer from Pink When




Our Lovely Hosts



Love this party?

 Simple Guidelines:

  • Please follow our host and co-hosts in as many ways possible (social media links below) 
  • PLEASE TWEET THIS PARTY !!!!  We want everyone to know about it!
  • Add as many of your family-friendly posts as you would like, no giveaways please.
  • Visit three or more others. Let them know you've been there!
  • When you are PINNING, remember to do it from the original post. ♥
  • If you are new, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can follow you back. ♥
  • Thanks for joining us!

Follow our hosts as you can. 
Our three new hosting blogs are listed first:


Tammy of My Life Abundant

Jaime of The Stay At Home Mom Survival Guide

Brittany of Mommy On Demand
Kim of 2JustByou

CD of CD's Country Living

Diane of Recipes For Our Daily Bread

Libby and Rachel of Two Keck Girls

Nicole and Susan of Flavors By Four

Carrie of A Mother’s Shadow

Sinea of Ducks 'n a Row  (host)







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Monday, February 23, 2015

Make it Green 2015: Bambooee Unpaper Towels #Giveaway

It's once again time for Make it Green in 2015. Another great giveaway to help you live a little greener this year!

Remember, even the smallest of changes can have a big impact. Every little bit helps. So keep reading below about this pretty awesome green product - the unpaper towel! Then, enter the giveaway for a chance to win a roll of your own to try.

The Make it Green in 2015 campaign was started to help us all find easy ways to make changes in our lifestyles to improve our environment.  It starts with a connection, just thinking about what you are using and how that impacts Earth is the first step in going green.
Trees are a necessary component of life, providing habitats for numerous organisms, replenishing our air supply, improving soil/drainage and trees shield us from wind, heat, etc. and because of all trees do for us, it's easy to imagine them first when you hear the word "GREEN."
Paper towels and other paper products are handy, there's no denying that. We've always had a roll of paper towels around to wipe away the kids messes after meals, as well as assisting with getting the kitchen and bathroom clean.  Paper towels produce more garbage but luckily, Bambooee offers an excellent green alternative to paper towels.  They are reusable, each towel can be washed up to 100 times!  Just one roll of Bambooee Unpaper Towels replaces 286 paper towels.  This can save you a substantial amount of money, and is very environmentally friendly.  Check out the full review of Bambooee- The Unpaper Towel by Latched On Mom.


Bambooee is giving away a roll of the towels and a roll of the sweeps!  If you'd like to enter to win,  just fill out the competition form below! The giveaway will run from 2/19/15-3/8/15. Open to US only. 
Void where prohibited. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Winner will be announced on this post, as well as emailed (so make sure to log into the competition form using the email address you use). You will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn.
Bambooee Unpaper Towel Giveaway


Latched On Mom was given a free product to test for review purposes, but did not receive payment for the review which was given. All opinions are that of Latched On Mom, written by the author. Other participating bloggers did not receive compensation to promote this giveaway. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media. Prize fulfillment is the sponsor's responsibility. 









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Sunday Inspirations

Isn't it great to be able to say that you were inspired? 

Yesterday morning, I woke up a little earlier than I would have liked. Still tired and sleepy, yet wide awake, I grabbed my iPhone and checked the Instagram feed before actually getting up to tackle the day.  

My blog, social media, and our small business take up a lot of my time. But through it all, I have the opportunity to [virtually] meet some truly amazing people.



Here are four people that inspired me on Sunday (listed clockwise), via Instagram - and their IG handles:

1. @lanasartstudio
2. @fearless_dining
3. @thetreehearts
4. @annzuccardy



1. A wonderful artist & blogger, creating beautiful pieces inspired by her travels and passions in life. I'm also proud to say that I own this print of hers!

2. An amazing food blogger sharing gluten-free recipes, gluten-free restaurant and item product reviews, and interviews with Bay Area eateries. The image that inspired me was a gluten-free coconut, oat & chocolate chip cookie (doesn't that sound delish?). But after scrolling through all of her amazing posts, I found the kumquat madeleines, and I couldn't help but share them in my image.

3. A talented bentwood ring-maker, who continues to amaze me with her beautiful ring designs (but my all-time favorite is still the wood burned heart ring that I shared here).

4. A new-to-me IGer that I found just yesterday. Here is where I'll tell you a quick story...



I love ocean photography (especially from California). I had seen one of Ann's beach posts and liked it earlier. When I got up on Sunday morning, she was in my activity feed. She had visited my IG and liked a couple of my posts in return (I always love that form of "thank you," because it's really social networking at its best.) Anyway, I returned to her page and read her bio. [Side note: Many of my blogger friends call this the "profile," but I've been schooled by my daughter that "No, it's a bio." And it's as simple as that, everyone. You will never see me refer to it as a profile in IG.]

After reading her bio, there was something there that caught my attention. Aside from the fact that the link she left is to a video, I was also intrigued by the words "creative communicator." Creative Communicator. How awesome is that? That's what made me click her link. 

The link goes to a youtube video for one of her speaking gigs. I watched the entire thing. Didn't even push pause. In that video, she shares her story. It's the perfect introduction piece. It's a story that's inspiring and admirable. Her words are important and motivational. After watching, I had to let her know! I left her a comment. And now, we're following each other on Instagram. And I'm wondering what types of events Ann speaks for, because I can think of at least one audience that might be interested in having her speak, sharing her personal story.


Lastly, I participated in a live twitter party as part of Dove's #SpeakBeautiful campaign. The only twitter parties I've really done before were early Saturday morning Sharefest chats for fun with The SITS Girls. But it had been a really long time! So I joined the SITStahs on Saturday as a practice run, to get re-acquainted with the fast pace of a live twitter event. 

And then I joined Dove for #SpeakBeautiful at Red Carpet time for the Oscars. Not because I was compensated (I wasn't, although there were some lucky winners during the first hour, but none of them was me), but because I strongly believe in this campaign and the message it has to share with the world. 

As someone who definitely struggles with self-confidence at times, I love the message that this campaign is sending for social change and social good. And it's all through social media - twitter.
And so - those were my Sunday Inspirations!

The bottom line is, social networking is a great way to find inspiration. Inspiration can be found anywhere, really, but social media is something pretty unique. I used to be against it. I thought it was a privacy invader. I used to frown upon it as an unnecessary productivity killer. 

But now...Now, I wouldn't dream of being without it. Not only is it pretty fun, it can be useful as well (as long as you set limits!). It's yet another way to network and connect with people. Because - we've all heard the saying, right? Sometimes it's not what you know, it's who you know.

Did you have any weekend inspirations? 
Share them with me in a comment! I'd love to read about what's been inspiring YOU lately.





Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I'm just sharing some personal inspirations with you and have not been compensated in any way at all.




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Friday, February 20, 2015

Find Compassion {#1000Speak for Compassion}

Today is the day. It's February 20, 2015. It's the day for #1000Speak, where 1,000 bloggers share their stories and thoughts about what compassion means to them. Why? Because we're bloggers, and it's what we do. 

Compassion can have a different meaning to different people. It's defined by Wikipedia as: 
"the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help."
While that definition does ring true, I also think of the simple words --
understanding, caring, sensitivity, and charity.



As a mother, it's my hope that I teach my kids to find compassion. It's something that I believe is in us all by nature, but sometimes we have to find it - just like we have to find ourselves through living life. 

Some things that I tell my kids:

Think of others.

Be nice. Be kind.

How would you feel if...

And, of course, there's always the Golden Rule: 
Treat others the way you want to be treated.

And there are many more. 

As with many other things in life, one of the best ways to teach is by showing: Be a role model.

Sometimes that is way easier said than done, right? 
And sometimes, it's our kids who remind us of the exact concepts in life lessons that we taught them. I know it's happened to me more than once. Just because we all have the ability to be compassionate does not mean that we actually practice it. We can all lose it at some point, so it's important to always find it. 



My kids and I love to support non-profit organizations and various charities throughout the year. In December 2014, we participated in #GivingTuesday for the first time, and we'll be a part of the movement for 2015 too! It's always been a passion of mine to support great causes, and I hope that I've passed that along to my kids. I know that I have. By helping others, we ultimately help ourselves. It feels good to give and to know that we can make a difference. Every little bit helps. Every little bit matters.



Little acts of kindness can definitely go a very long way. 

So let's all find compassion. Let's practice compassion. It's something we need in this world. We all need it in our lives. We need it for each other. We need it for humanity to survive. 

Now it's your turn. 
What words do YOU think of when you hear the word compassion?

I've started a Pinterest Board specifically for the movement. Check it out when you have time to read some really empowering posts from excellent bloggers around the blogosphere.





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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Get Social with #GrowingCirclesHop


Number 55 and Alive!
It's time to get social with #GrowingCirclesHop

Help spread the word and invite your friends to our Party!
Growing your circles helps you and your blog with SEO.

Party Hashtag Feature Post

Proving last, but not least! Sherry was the last to link up at our hop,
but she used our Party Hashtag and won the featured spot!

You can visit Sherry's blog HERE.



Link up AND use our party hashtag for your chance to be next week's feature.
All weekly features are randomly chosen using Random.org.

Would you like to Co-Host with us?
We need your help!
Send an email to 2justByou(AT)gmail(DOT)com with "G+ Hop Co-Host" in the subject line and include your blog and G+ links for consideration. We'd love to have you!


 

To make the most of this link party, please follow the rules below.
1. You MUST add your hosts and co-hosts to one of your circles before linking up. 
2. Link up your personal Google+ profile, blog or business G+ pages but NOT your blog URL. 
3. Share ONE post ONLY - (new or old) on G+ and use the hashtag #GrowingCirclesHop
4. Connect with others by clicking on your #growingcircleshop hashtag. Engage with at least 2-3 others by a Share, +1 or Comment. 
5. Add new friends to your circles. 
6. Grab a button for your blog, if you'd like. Help us spread the word so we can keep trending on Google Plus each week! (You can edit size to fit your blog in the code).
Mommy Mentionables



Throughout the next 12 hours, check back on G+ and +1 posts with the hashtag #growingcircleshop.

Google+ Tips

The real participation comes with sharing a blog post to G+ using the party's hashtag and engaging with others who are also sharing posts from this party. Interaction and engaging with others on G+ will bring you the most success! You will notice some posts have a very large picture associated with their post and others have a tiny picture. To increase your chances of being shared, post a photo along with your post link and NOT the tiny one that gets posted automatically with the link. The bigger and more clear your photo, the better chance of it being shared because those are the posts that G+ users want to share with their followers.
LINK UP below!!! You can now link up your G+ profile page -OR- you can link up a specific G+ post that you've already publicly shared using our party hashtag!  










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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Heart Jewelry Set & Beauty DIY at Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop


Every Wednesday is a
Wonderful Wednesday,
because we get to party with all of YOU.

This is Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop number 111 and YOU are our very special guests!
Last week's most view post won hands down with 4 times more views than all of the other popular posts...a beautiful heart necklace and earring set. 
Did you pin it?

Most Viewed
Heart Necklace & Earring Set by The Pin Junkie


Copy Cat KFC Chicken Recipe by Pink When
How To Freeze Mashed Potatoes by Mums Make Lists
Biggest Decluttering Mistake You Don't Know You're Making
from My Love For Words
Homemade Bread Making Shortcuts by Taylor Made Ranch
Get Paid to Transcribe and Write from Musings of  a Multi-Tasking Mom


MY Editor's Pick
It was #137 from last week, and it caught my eye right away!
I've seen lots of dry shampoos, but I've never seen one especially for brunettes.
So if you're a brunette like me, be sure you check it out!
I know I can't wait to try it out.


And now for this week's party!
Share your family - friendly posts.
No giveaways, shops or parties please.
Visit a few posts and leave a nice comment.
Follow our hosts where you can.
Please remember to pin from the original posts.
♥ Tweet our party and make us very happy! ♥

LOVE THIS PARTY?





Sinea of Ducks 'n a Row  (host)

Libby and Rachel of Two Keck Girls

Kim of 2JustByou

Diane of Recipes For Our Daily Bread

Elie from Chocolates and Crockpots

Nicole and Susan of Flavors By Four

Carrie of A Mother’s Shadow

CD of CD's Country Living







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