2 Inspirational Books that Drastically Improved My Businesses and The Liebster Award

When I first began blogging a few years ago, I was using it as a journal. A travel journal first (when I lived in France), then when I arrived state-side, I couldn’t shake the habit of writing about random or “abnormal” things in my life. Frankly, after studying abroad for 6 months, my life in Texas felt down-right BORING, so I started another blog about homemaking and married life-really just trying to adjust to reverse-culture shock!

My husband and I planned our wedding in a whole 12 days, got married, moved into our own place for the first time (without roommates), and were finishing our last year of college.

We went through so many struggles and fun things that first year married: extreme poverty, simple living, our decision and journey to go organic, helping a good friend through a divorce, living with cockroaches, growing our first container garden, learning to live on a $20 food budget for two adults (e-book coming soon!), and general “first year married” experiences.

That blog died out after the first year. I became a teacher, which absorbed all of my free time, then I became pregnant-which was no walk in the park-then we moved across the state, then we lived with my dad while we looked for a house to buy, then we had another baby. Blogging just evaporated, but it was something I really enjoyed doing.

After reading Sarah Titus’s blog about earning income as a stay-at-home-mom, I was inspired to give blogging another chance, but this time I would try to turn it into a consistent side-hustle that would give me both, a creative outlet and maybe a little extra cash on the side.

Part of driving your traffic and finding great content for your Pinterest boards involves getting to know other bloggers! You know who loves to read? WRITERS! Some of my heaviest traffic days come from promotional days in my blogging networking groups, because we are all DIY queens who LOVE to read and share ideas.

The last six months have been so fun, challenging, and worth the late nights and working nap times! I just received a nomination for the Liebster Award! It is a great way to give new bloggers exposure, share other newcomer blogging friends, and tell you a little about my personal life.

***This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made from clicking on these links will help support this blog by providing a tiny commission for every purchase (at no extra cost to you). I always recommend products that I have personally tried or plan to try. All opinions remain my own. Thank you!

First, I will tell you about some of my favorite bloggers who have inspired me to begin and continue this journey.

Sarah Titus

Sarah has an amazingly inspiring story of being abandoned by her ex-husband, and doing all she could to earn money at home to continue raising her two children as a stay-at-home-mom (even after enduring homelessness)! Her ebooks are informative tear-jerkers and her tips are always worth the read. She is responsive to her commenters (she’s even featured little ol’ me in an email newsletter) and responsive to her followers. Most of all, she comes across as very genuine and kind, which is quite an addictive quality!

Her “How to Become Financially Free: From Homeless to Well Off: I’ll Show You How” eBook is my favorite!

Her ebooks are free reads on Amazon’s Kindle Reading App (this is a FREE 30 day trial). My family members have other company’s devices, but this app is still compatible with them! You can always cancel before your 30 days are up, and I FLEW through the pages of her books! If you’re thinking about getting an eReader, because the back-light hurts your eyes on other devices, I definitely recommend the 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display and Wi-Fi equipped  Kindle E-reader. I love mine, and love that I can take my books everywhere without them weighing down my diaper bag!

These amazing, inspirational bloggers and women worked hard to earn money from home, now they run huge businesses doing what they love-Also: Leibster Award!

Mary Jane Butters

Another blogger I really admire is actually nothing short of a renaissance woman! Mary Jane Butters runs a multi-million dollar organic empire that crosses all “value-added” spectrums. One day she’s an author, next a grandmother, then a crafter, but first and foremost—a farmer. She seeks to change the world through organic heirloom seeds and healthy backpacking food. Her magazine is sensational, and I can attest to being a faithful member of her “Farmgirl Sisterhood” since 2011.

Mary Jane’s first book: MaryJane’s Ideabook, Cookbook, Lifebook: For the Farmgirl in All of Us is nothing short of revolutionary. I burned through reading this one too! This book covers huge aspects of running a business, working in male-dominated careers (while rocking her rustic glam style), getting back to “the simple life,” all while spinning the tale of her incredibly inspiring, trail-blazing journey of being the first female park ranger in the lower 48, then a mother, then a single-mother, then losing her home to a fire, then building her farming/writing career. One of my favorite non-fiction reads!

These amazing, inspirational bloggers and women worked hard to earn money from home, now they run huge businesses doing what they love-Also: Leibster Award!

This audio book is FREE with a 30-day free trial of Amazon’s Audible service. This is so nice to have in the car driving to my kids’ activities! As much as I love to read, I usually work in the evenings (which is my only “free time” to read), so having audio books is a great way for me to learn things about business, crafting, gardening, and of course listen to my beloved novels 🙂

Mary Jane is the reason I began my crunchy, homemaking, healthy living, gardening, crafting, blogging life, and Sarah is the reason I was inspired to try to make a career out of it. Thank you ladies from the bottom of my heart!

Concerning the Liebster Award, I would like to thank Shawna over at Little House on the Big Pond for my nomination! A mama after my own heart, she writes about tasty recipes, family fun activities, and projects to make your house a home. You can find articles about everything from butchering your own hog to making melt-in-your-mouth mushroom appetizers, and I love her fun kid’s activities ideas!

Both Shawna and the Host of the Liebster Awards have asked me these questions:

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world whom would you want as a dinner guest and why?

Margaret Atwood. She has been my favorite author since I took “20th Century Dystopia” at University of North Texas, and read over 20 of her novels. She is the reason I am a feminist. Her work is impeccably rich and I’d love to spend a day in her brain.

2. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My family, the months I spent living in another country, and my health.

3. If travel was something everyone did as a rite of passage growing up where would you recommend they go and why? (one country only)

I would recommend living anywhere with a significantly different culture and language than that of your natal home. Living in France fundamentally changed how I view the world, my own culture, being an immigrant, and living in the “Old World.” I believe it should be a part of every young person’s education. The world would be a much better place for it.

4. Give a tip for other bloggers or potential blog starters:

Advice is good, but experience is better. Just start, and don’t worry about what you’re doing “right” or “wrong.” Stay consistent. Be generous, genuine, and kind.

5. What is your favourite dish?

Cream of Potato Soup or Homemade Bread

These amazing, inspirational bloggers and women worked hard to earn money from home, now they run huge businesses doing what they love-Also: Leibster Award!

6. Would you ever travel the world in a camper van?

Yes. Hands down.

7. When you have a writer’s block what do you do to work it out?

I literally work out—like exercise—or take a shower. Any ideas I have, I immediately write down and expand upon them later.

8. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?

A lot of normal things I do, seem extreme to other people. Living in another country or hunting wild game every winter are probably the things I’ve done that seem extreme to others.

9. How did travelling change your life?

Travelling gave me perspective that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I live in a conservative, small town. Travelling showed me other people’s plights, my own prejudices, and introduced me to myriad ways of thinking.

10. Do you think education, as it is today, does justice to life and learning?

I think educational law should be left to those who actually educate. The teachers who are in the trenches teaching kids everyday, who spent years in college learning how to best teach children should be the ones to decided how and what is taught to future generations. They are not influenced by money, personal interests, or political agendas—only the welfare of their kids.

11. When do you find time to blog?

When my kids are sleeping.

12. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?

Wolverine or Magneto from X-Men. They represent two sides of the same coin. One is passionate, impulsive, and physically commanding-invincible to the touch. Magneto is nearly all-powerful in modern society with the advent of metal in all our technology. He’s calculating, focused, and only stoppable by his own hubris. I’d like to be a hybrid of the two.

13. What is your favorite book or series?

You could no sooner ask me to choose a favorite star in the heavens! Anything by Margaret Atwood, The Chronicles of Narnia , Jane Eyre, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Harry Potter series, The Red Tent , The Dovekeepers, Coraline, Classic Fairy Tales, anything by Kurt Vonnegut, The Hobbit, Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, V for Vendetta, Ivanhoe, Beowulf, I could keep going…I LOVE to read.

14. Would you rather explore the deep ocean or outer space?

Hands down, deep space. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was young. I won a scholarship to Space Camp, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I read EVERYTHING I could find about outer space when I was a kid. Obsessed is not a sufficiently intense word!

My grandfather worked for NASA during the lunar landings and one of my family’s oldest friends and neighbors just retired from being the “Deputy Director of Engineering.” She was also “Chief of Staff” for a while. What an amazing lady! I’ve landed the real flight simulator and met astronauts as a kid—you would have thought I was meeting Beyonce, I was beaming so brightly!

15. How long would you survive the zombie apocalypse?

To the end. Did you not read about my hunting habits? Or see my emergency evacuation preparations?

These amazing, inspirational bloggers and women worked hard to earn money from home, now they run huge businesses doing what they love-Also: Leibster Award!

16. If you were going to be a character in someone’s book, who would you like to write it?

Walt Disney or C.S. Lewis

These amazing, inspirational bloggers and women worked hard to earn money from home, now they run huge businesses doing what they love-Also: Leibster Award!

My Liebster Nominations

Feeling Mum Yet is a beautiful parenting blog about raising adopted children, how to adopt, why you should adopt, and helping adopted children through their feelings. This post in particular made me cry from beginning to end! She is a wonderfully special mom <3

Fill Your Cottage has some dazzlingly adorable DIY tutorials and home decor inspiration! I love this post about increasing Honeybees in your cottage garden!

Minimal Domesticity is a beautiful blog about homemaking, minimalism, and novice homemaking and homesteading. All things that interest this Mama Bird! I love this minimalist holiday decor guide!

I hope you enjoyed this little view of my brain, and I wish you all a happy New Year!


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