I’m Taking My Husband With Me To BLU!

Today we leave for Atlanta….yes I said “we.”    I’m taking my husband Michael with me to the Blog Life University conference.     Why is he going along?    Well to make a long story short…..I want to get him involved in blogging.

I have several sites, Be Social, Get Success,  Robin O’Neal Smith, and Hey Saxton, plus others I edit or write for.  I can’t possibly maintain and update all of them myself while working full-time.   I have been bugging him to do some writing and he is willing but said he wanted to learn more.

So, when I showed him the agenda for the Blog Life University conference he was intrigued and willing to attend.  This is a great opportunity for him to learn more and decide if it is something he would enjoy or perhaps something he doesn’t want to get involved in.

Agenda Blog Life

Lucky me….was able to win a free spouse ticket so his registration is free also. I have just been super lucky lately…more about that in another post.

This will be a great little trip for us.   Not only will he learn more about something I am very passionate about, but we will also get to spend some quality time together.

If you would like to learn more about the event, you can click here, Blog Life University conference, and learn all the details.  Be watching for both of our updates on social media in the coming days.

Atlanta….here we come!

I’m Heading to Blog Life University!

Later this week, I’m taking some vacation days from work and heading to Atlanta for the Blog Life University blogging conference.    I’m excited and looking forward to the event.

BLULast year I attended my first blog conference.   I have attended many online business conferences, etc. but wanted to learn more about the blogging world and felt a conference would be a great way to learn.   And learn I did.   I attended the Focused Blogging Conference in VA and it was well worth the time.   I was hoping to return this summer, but the dates it is being held is when all the back to school stuff I am required to be a part of for my job takes place.  It is also the weekend of my family reunion.  So I had to say no this year.

I was on a quest to find a different blogging conference to attend.   And I found many.  I think I could go to a conference twice a month if I had the money and the time.

I found the Blog Life University conference online and I liked the topics.   Photography, Pinterest, and  travel blogging are the topics that I am most interested in.

Speakers

Then I noticed that my friend Liz Latham, from HoosierHomemade.com was going to be one of the speakers.   That tipped the scales for me to attend.

Blog Life University SpeakerI will be attending the event as a “blog ambassador.”   When I went online to register I noticed they had an ambassador program.  I thought it would be fun, so I applied and was selected for the position.  I will be able to attend the conference with a free registration. (I still have to pay for travel, meals, and hotel.)   In return for my free ticket, I’m responsible for writing about the event before and after it happens, posting about the event on social media, and participating in the Dixie Crystals Recipe Contest.

You may have noticed my recipe, Southern Strawberry – Banana Pie.

You can check out some of the other recipes entered into the contest here.   If I would win the contest my recipe would be promoted on the Dixie Crystal site and via social media with professional pictures of the dessert, etc.  I would also win a free hotel stay at the conference.

Someone asked me what I planned to learn at this event since I was already a blogger?  There is always something to learn.   Programs change, social media changes, etc.  I am most interested in learning  more about travel blogging and getting my family involved in blogging.

I am also looking forward to meeting the various sponsors and building relationships with them and the other attendees.

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to attend this event.  If you would like to learn more, you can click here for all the details.    Watch for my updates on the blog and on social media.   Can’t wait to share all the juicy details with you!

 

8 Steps to Getting Started With Pokemon Go

This post was co-written with guest blogger Alexis Hadden. You can learn more about Alexis at the bottom of this post.
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Launched just a little over a week ago, Pokemon Go has changed the face of smartphone apps as we know them.

Pokemon GoUsing virtual reality, this app allows Pokemon lovers of all ages to catch their favorite characters in their homes, cars, backyards, neighborhood supermarkets, and anywhere they go! You may have noticed people blindly walking into traffic with their faces glued to their phones. You can blame Pokemon Go for that.

Getting Started with Pokemon Go

To play the game, you don’t have to be a Pokemon fan. In fact, you don’t even have to know the first thing about the Pokemon franchise. You could even use the game as an excuse to get out of the house and walk around! Here’s how you join the madness.

  1. Download the app from your phone’s app or Google play store. After it downloads, you’ll need to create an account or sign-in with your Google account. Then, you’ll be asked to accept the terms and conditions.
  2. Choose your style. After being introduced to Professor Willow, you’ll create a customized character.Style
  1. Start moving! Once you start moving about your surroundings, you’ll find Pokemon in the area. Tap on one to catch it.surroundings

 

  1. Catch ‘em all. To catch a Pokemon, tap and hold the Pokeball and swipe in the creature’s direction. Your character will throw the ball towards it and hopefully catch it!

Catching a Pokemon

  1. Travel to various Pokestops. While you’re moving around your town or neighborhood, grab items like Pokeballs and eggs at Pokestops.

Pokestops can be fire departments, monuments, sculptures, or parks! You can find Pokestops in your area by looking at your map.

Pokestop

  1. Power up your Pokemon. After gaining experience, you’ll be able to power up and evolve your Pokemon to get them ready for battle! You can find all of the Pokemon you’ve caught by tapping the Pokeball at the bottom center of your screen. The “CP” number indicates how powerful each one is. Tap on one to power up or evolve it.

pokemon collection

Power Up

power up

Eventually you will… 

  1. Join a team. Once you’ve reached level 5 and found your first gym (where your Pokemon will battle), you will be able to choose a team (Mystic, Instinct, or Valor).
  2. Challenge other Pokemon. You’re finally ready to battle. Travel to a local gym to experience your first battle. Don’t be surprised if you get demolished. For now, focus on catching them all!

But for now… 

Pokemon Go has swept the nation, and it’s your turn to get in on the action. If you’re not interested in the battling part of it all, use it as a fitness app. People all over the world are walking several miles a day looking for the rarest Pokemon out there.

Word of Warning

When playing Pokemon Go….remember to watch where you are going and not wonder onto the street, etc.   If you are allowing children to play, please supervise and keep them safe.

Like all new things, there will be challenges.  But if you use the program to have a little fun and to get some exercise, there is no harm.  I have been seeing families everywhere out and about enjoying the weather playing Pokemon Go!

 

Guest Blogger

Alexis HaddenAlexis Hadden is a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky as well as a full-time student and ghostwriter. She graduated from Juniata College with a degree in communication with professional writing.

She is currently working on her Master’s degree and a graduate certificate in instructional communication. This fall, she will be teaching two sections of an introductory communication course at UK. Her passions include fitness, animals (especially cats), and food. Above everything else, her interpersonal relationships are most important to her.

 

Southern Strawberry-Banana Pie

On a hot afternoon or evening, this refreshing Southern Strawberry-Banana Pie is a wonderful treat!   Great as a dessert or just a special snack.   This pie would be a wonderful addition for your family get-togethers, reunions, and county fair entries.

Strawberry-Banana Pie

Southern Strawberry-Banana Pie

Ingredients

2 Deep Dish Pie Shells

Strawberry/Banana Jello – Large package 6 oz. or 2 Small Packages

Sugar3 Cups Water

1 Cup of Dixie Crystals Pure Cane Sugar

4 TBSP Corn Starch

5 Cups of Strawberries

2 Large Sliced Bananas

Makes 2 Pies.

Instructions

Bake Pie Crusts as directed on package.

Pie Crust

Cap strawberries.  If small you may use whole, if large you will want to slice or quarter.

sliced strawberries

Slice bananas.

Mix Sugar, Corn Starch, and Water

Bring ingredients to a slow boil until mixture becomes clear and thick (This takes a while)

Stir frequently.

While mixture is cooking, place strawberries and bananas into pie crust.

Strawberry Banana Pie Filling

When cooked mixture is clear, remove from heat and add jello.

Add Jello

Stir jello till glaze is clear with no lumps.

Strawberry Pie Glaze

Spoon glaze filling over strawberries and bananas.

Strawberry Banana Glaze

Refrigerate finished pies till ready to serve.

Add Cool Whip and garnish with strawberries or bananas.

Strawberry Pie with Cool Whip

Serve!

Strawberry-Banana

Enjoy!

 

I am entering this recipe in the Sweet ‘n Southern Desserts Recipe Contest hosted by Dixie Crystals and Blog Life University Conference.   The winner will be announced at the Conference later in July.

Dessert Contest

7 Pet Safety Tips for the 4th of July

Please welcome Alexis Hadden as a guest blogger on our site today.
You can learn more about Alexis at the bottom of this post.
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According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Fireworks can be terrifying and overwhelming for pets, and possibly hazardous.” In fact, the Humane Society also reports an increase in missing pets around the holiday.

Pet Safety

Although the 4th of July holiday can be fun and exhilarating for us, you may notice your pets entering a state of distress. There are a few ways that you can combat this issue.

Pet Safety Tips

1. Keep your pet indoors. Although you may typically have your golden retriever running loose and greeting party guests, consider keeping her indoors for this one. Chances are, your guests or your neighbors will be setting off fireworks. To keep your furry best friends safe, keep them inside. There is also the chance of your pet overheating or attracting unwanted insects outside.

2. Be sure that your pet has a clear ID tag or a microchip. In the event that your pet gets frightened and runs away from home, make sure that the person who finds him is able to find his owner.

3. Keep the refreshments out of reach. According to PetMD, alcoholic beverages can be poisonous to pets. Also, some foods can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Don’t leave the food unattended, or make sure your pet is contained in a different area.

4. Be careful with the glow sticks. The 4th is a great holiday for glow necklaces and bracelets. However, the contents of these glow sticks are extremely dangerous and toxic to both humans and pets. Your pet may confuse one of these as a toy and sink his/her teeth into it.

5. Do not neglect your pet. Make sure your fur-child feels loved comfortable. If you’re keeping her indoors, play some soothing music, limit outside visibility, and be sure to check on her often. Ensure that food and water are readily available.

6. Clean up thoroughly. If you’re hosting a July 4th party, be certain that the yard area is completely clear of scraps and accessories before taking your pet outside again.

7. Help your pet cope. With all of the loud noises and crowds that come with the 4th of July, your pet may suffer from a little bit of anxiety. There are anxiety wraps and vests on the market that you can dress them in. Nothing can serve as a substitute for your affection, though.

Enjoy the fireworks and fun Independence Day celebrations, but please keep your pets safe.

Alexis HaddenAlexis Hadden is a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Kentucky as well as a full-time student and ghostwriter. She graduated from Juniata College with a degree in communication with professional writing.

She is currently working on her Master’s degree and a graduate certificate in instructional communication. This fall, she will be teaching two sections of an introductory communication course at UK. Her passions include fitness, animals (especially cats), and food. Above everything else, her interpersonal relationships are most important to her.