My Christmas Wish List | Gift Ideas For The Blogger, Photographer, and Disney Fan

I knew the other day when creating the 21 Blog Post Ideas, that I wanted to create a Gift Idea Guide, I will be going into more detail on the guides later, but this is my Christmas Wish List, Gift ideas for the Blogger, Photographer, and Disney Fan. I am all three so this is a HUGE HINT HINT for my own family as these items in this Gift Guide are all things that I, myself would love to have. Now, James if you are reading this, yes this is an idea of things that I want. Yes, this is a hint hint to you and for the rest of the family. I am not asking you or anyone else to purchase EVERYTHING on this page but should help you understand and help you while shopping for me for Christmas. Anyone else that has someone that fits one, two, or all three of these careers and interest, feel free to share it as your own “hint hint” to your family. As most people do, I have multiple interests.  I am both a blogger and photographer, and at the same time, I am a HUGE Disney Fan. I have other interest, but these are my main ones. I also love anything and everything to do with Beauty and the Beast. The Bloggers Christmas Wish List If you can’t tell, I run a blog. There are a lot of people that run blogs and write for a living. I already know James is going to know that I am putting journals and notebooks on this list. Afterall I do kinda collect them. He actually got me one last year that I LOVED and used a lot. I have moved on to a lined one now. Where I am able to jot notes down as needed. Below you will find my Bloggers Christmas Wish List, along with links to the product. Please note that these links are affiliate links in some cases and will help Odysseys With Love at no cost to you. Coffee Subscriptions Am I the only one that runs purely on caffeine? Well, more specifically Coffee? Those coffee lovers will love one of these subscriptions! Save $5.00 on Bean Box https://odysseyswithlove.com/BeanBox Gifts From Mickey Monthly Coffee Lover Box https://odysseyswithlove.com/GiftsFromMickey Cratejoy’s Massive Coffee Subscription options! Coffee and a Classic https://odysseyswithlove.com/CoffeeAndAClassic Coffee-Esperanto https://odysseyswithlove.com/Coffee-Esperanto Cratejoy’s Search Results For Coffee https://odysseyswithlove.com/AllCoffeeCrates I know there are a lot more coffee subscriptions out there. As I find my favorites, I will add them here. I LOVE Bean Box so that is why its first on my list here. The Notebook & Planner Junky I already know I mentioned above that I am a hoarder pretty much of planners and Notebooks. I just love them. Here are a few of my favorites! Day Designer https://odysseyswithlove.com/DayDesigner The Happy Planner https://odysseyswithlove.com/TheHappyPlanner May Designs https://odysseyswithlove.com/MayDesign Kate Spade https://odysseyswithlove.com/KateSpade Well, what about the Planner Junky that loves the extra stuff that goes with planning? A Planners Subscription Box is a great idea also for them. The May Box https://odysseyswithlove.com/TheMayBox Mocha Glam Box for Planners – WOC https://odysseyswithlove.com/MochaGlamBoxForPlanners Sticker Guru https://odysseyswithlove.com/StickerGuru The Creative With Bloggers expanding their skill sets into the creative world. Learning Photography, Graphic Design, and Videography have become important to Blogger. Help your partner out with a subscription plan to the Creative Cloud or other subscription services. Relax and Un”Wine” I have learned that James and I enjoy a bottle of wine every once in a while. Years ago I tried a wine subscription where we got a tasting kit and a crate of wine was delivered to my home every so often. I loved it. Below are the top wine subscriptions you can gift to your wine lover! Winc (Get $20.00 for your first order!) https://odysseyswithlove.com/Get$20ForWinc California Wine Club https://odysseyswithlove.com/CaliforniaWineClub VineBox https://odysseyswithlove.com/GetVineBox Tasting Room (Get A Free Tasting Kit) https://odysseyswithlove.com/FreeTastingRoomTastingKit Just For Her Subscription Boxes Boss Babe Boxes Running a blog takes a lot of work. These Subscription Boxes are for the Boss Babe in us all! TheraBox – Self Care Subscription Box https://odysseyswithlove.com/TheraBox Mom Time Delivered https://odysseyswithlove.com/MomTimeDelivered Boss Lady Swag Box https://odysseyswithlove.com/BossLadySwag The SHEclub Monthly https://odysseyswithlove.com/SHEclubMonthly Period Subscription Box Sometimes a little something extra during that time of the month can really help your partner out. Take a look at these CrateJoy Subscription Boxes. My Lady Bug The Perfect Monthly Gift https://odysseyswithlove.com/MyLadyBug Lotus Box | A PMS Care Package https://odysseyswithlove.com/LotusBox Rose War Panty Power https://odysseyswithlove.com/RoseWarPantyPower Photographer’s Christmas Gift Guide! Not only do I run Odysseys With Love, but I am also a photographer.  If you are in the Dallas area and need a photographer, head over to Odysseys Studio! Enough about me, what does a photographer want for Christmas?Check out these gift ideas below! House Of Flynn Camera Bags Camera Lenses From Amazon SHOP Try Out The Gear First SHOP Don’t forget all of the different photography magazines that your photographer loved one would like to have. But what else could you gift the photographer in your family? Sue Bryce Education I love Sue Bryce and would love to be in her class again. One day I will. Her website starts at $35.00 per month! Join Now! Creative Live Do you want to gift a class on Creative Live? I know of a lot of the classes on this site I would want to take! Get $15.00 Off your first class!  https://odysseyswithlove.com/Get$15OffCreativeLive Other Great Gifts For Photographers? The Disney Fan Christmas Wish List If you didn’t know already, I am a huge Disney Fan! Even though I have yet to visit the parks since I was a little girl, I dream of visiting and hopefully I will get to soon. I have a few things on my Christmas Wish List, but I am going to include a few other things here as well that I know all Disney lovers will well, love! Disney Subscrition Boxes I love subscription boxes! Why? You never really know what you are going to get until you open your box and the magic unfolds. Disney Themed Subscription Boxes are plentiful to choose from, ranging in all price points and what comes in the boxes. Also with the Disney Themed Boxes, you don’t only just have the magic of the boxes, but you are bringing a little Disney Magic into your home. Just a little pixie dust for your loved one. I have searched the internet for all of the different boxes available and these are the ones I have found so far! Know of a different one or one that I missed, comment below and let us all know about it! Magic At Your Door I was not able to find an about section on Magic At Your Door’s Website, but was able to find a small section on their facebook page. — “Delivering a magical variety of Disney products, including licensed Disney items and Disney Store/Disney Theme Park merchandise, at your door every month.” https://odysseyswithlove.com/magicatyourdoor I love that Magic At Your Door has an extensive questionnaire for your preferences. They do not guarantee that you will get everything you like in your box, but if you tell them the thing you do not like, they will try not to put it in your box. I have fallen in love with watching unboxings! Below are a few! This is a BIG HINT to James! https://youtu.be/p4P2dwf-RuAhttps://youtu.be/F7xnmgdnRKYhttps://youtu.be/p6RVxX_NgGg The Mickey Monthly Box What is Mickey Monthly? Lets look at their website! — “Mickey Monthly offers monthly Disney mystery box for diehard Disney fans. These monthly Disney subscription boxes can include Disney pins, officially licensed Disney items, or a Disney Parks items, and are delivered to your door every month.” https://odysseyswithlove.com/MickeyMonthly Ok Below are just a few of the items from Mickey Monthly’s website that I REALLY want! Not only does Mickey Monthly have several different boxes to choose from you also can go to their shop page and order specific things too! These are just a few of the things I would REALLY love to add to my collection! Just click the image below to be taken to Mickey Monthly’s page for that item! Gifts From Mickey With 12 different monthly boxes to choose from there has to be a box for everyone at Gifts From Mickey! Gifts From Mickey has the Monthly Palace Box to the Monthly Popcorn Box and everything in-between! I think my favorite box from them would have to be the Monthly Coffee Lovers Box! — “This pack is the perfect gift for the coffee lover. Get a box every month with a coffee blend direct from Walt Disney World. These coffees are served in various location such as Epcot’s Le Cellier, Animal Kingdom’s Sanaa, and many more. Each coffee is paired with a special mug from one of the parks or Wald Disney World Resorts.” https://odysseyswithlove.com/GiftsFromMickey Gifts from Mickey has the option to not only have the subscription boxes, but you can also get one time boxes, personal shopping, and so much more! Below you will find a few videos from other YouTubers about this box! https://youtu.be/FQA4cE6KI7ohttps://youtu.be/SiwZuwxCyOw Bibbidi Bobbidi Boxes With 5 different monthly boxes to choose from Bibbidi Bobbidi Boxes has a subscription for just about anyone! The What’s Inside page states: “The Genie himself would be surprised by the magic contained inside our Disney boxes!  We offer the most magical monthly subscription boxes, sure to satisfy all Disney lovers! Box sizes ranging from the “Dreams” collection to the “Ultimate Magic” box, and customized by our Disney personal shoppers just for you!   “ https://odysseyswithlove.com/BibbidiBobbidiBoxes I am not going to lie! I REALLY want the Ultimate Magic Box! I know its $119, BUT! It includes one designer item in each box! https://youtu.be/I2aNAzeWJlAhttps://youtu.be/8Z-FHuKXys8 Thanks For Reading! ? Pin Me For Later Don’t have time to fully read the post? Want to share it to come back to later? Use your favorite ? and share it on our favorite site, PINTEREST! Not only does it help you, but it helps us grow and get our information out in front of others too! Are You Following Us On Social Media? Want To Keep Reading? The “D” Word July 2, 2017 As most of you know I am a single mother. To top that off, I am the only parent my girls really know. Sure, Skyler knows who her Dad is, and has even communicated with him some. We have a pretty decent relationship. Rhyan however does not know her biological father. It is by his choice. I have never hidden her or kept her away from him. Learn More The Ultimate Geek Gifts Guide August 19, 2017 I absolutely can not believe that Christmas is just around four months away now. I started looking for awesome gifts for both James and Skyler… Learn More 2018 Jayco Precept 36T October 5, 2017 Last month we visited the Southwest RV Supershow and saw three RV that we loved in different price ranges. The more we think about it… Learn More Top 5 Destinations in Texas You Must Visit This Fall October 17, 2017 In Texas, the seasons are Summer, Summer, Summer, and Christmas. So, where did Spring, Winter, and Fall go? We really don’t have them. So what… Learn More JOIN THE TRIBE Stay in touch with Odysseys With Love and receive weekly newsletters, enter for a chance to win the monthly giveaways, freebies, and so much more! SUBSCRIBE Thank you so much for joining our tribe! I am excited to have you here. Make sure to head over to our FREEBIE LIBRARY and enter the password OWL2018

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Using Elementor To Create The Perfect Blog Post

Welcome to Odysseys With Love Perfect Blog Post Template and Elementor Download. I wish I still had my original blogging template, but with the site crashing a while back, I am having to recreate everything from scratch. So today I want to share with you my blogging template. Why is having a blogging template so important? It makes all of your blog post look and feel the same, speeds up your writing process and so much more.  I have several sections that I include in every blog post. Some I am adding now that I am creating a new template for myself to use. If you like this style of blog post, you are more than welcome to download the Elementor template.  Free Elementor Template | Heading or Blog Post Title First, let’s look at the Heading or Blog Post Title. My theme automatically puts the Blog Post Title into my post for me. If you have designed your blog post to not include that. Then including this at the very beginning of your blog post is vital. It is the most read part of your blog post. Now, On to this paragraph. It should tell your readers about what this blog post is about.  The second paragraph helps to extend your blog post summary above but is also a chance to include a story about why this blog post is important to you. A little side note: most readers only read a blog post if the paragraphs are short. Try to keep each paragraph three to four sentences long each.  Elements Of The Perfect Blog Post So, what are the perfect elements of a blog post? The image above breaks up the blog post and adds interest to your article. Why is this important? If you can include a pretty image, it lets your reader’s mind move from one section of the post to the next. I also say it is a bonus if you can create the image as a Social Media Graphic also because that means fewer things you need to create in the long run.  When creating your blog post, sometimes different layouts are wonderful to use. The image to the right is a Facebook Post Image, and the one above is a twitter card. Since I use All In One SEO, and have my Social Meta turned on, I can designate the images that are for Facebook and Google + at the same time designating the twitter card above to be shared at the same time.  Now I have not explained why I love Elementor so much. I am now able to drag and drop the elements I want into the blog post that I want. You can download the free version of Elementor or upgrade to the pro version. I don’t feel the pro version is needed for what I use it for.  Elementor is a theme builder, and my OceanWP theme is meant to be used with it. There are several other themes that can be used, but OceanWP is my favorite so far.  SubHeadings | Breaking Up Your Blog Post One of the most important things to do when writing your blog post is to break it up with Subheadings. Why? Most people are only going to scan your post and will read the subheading first to see if the blog post will help them in some way. Keep two to three paragraphs in each subheading and keep it broken up in this way.  You can include more images throughout your blog post, create infographics and other graphics for your blog post. This is where you can have fun with your blog post as you are writing it. Create each section creatively and keep your readers interested.  Call To Action | Sharable Pins! I like to include sharable pins below this area. I try to create at least three different pins for each blog post. I also ask my readers to pin and share here. One of the most important things you can do with Pinterest Graphics is not only making them beautiful and interesting for your readers, make it easy by including the pin description in the ALT text. This way they don’t have to create their own description when pinning your pins.  ? PIN ME Download This Template! Read Something Else Photography Tips For Beginners & FREE Resource Download Keep Reading How To Earn Money While Living Full-Time in an RV Keep Reading Whats going on at Odysseys With Love Keep Reading Happy New Years Keep Reading Travel Blog Equipment and Software Keep Reading The Best Lightroom Tips For Instagram Keep Reading Stay in touch with Odysseys With Love and receive weekly newsletters, enter for a chance to win the monthly giveaways, freebies, and so much more! Opt in to receive news and updates. I Want In Now! Thank you! You have successfully joined our subscriber list. Head over to our Freebie Library now! The Password is OWL2018

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21 Ideas For Blog Post When You Have Writers Block

I have sat here for several days thinking of the next blog article that I could write. I have come across writer’s block and it is truly starting to bother me. I really don’t know how to overcome it. We have not had much of a chance to travel even in our own small town since Skyler got hurt. I have not had any inspiration to write about family because in truth Skyler is healing and I am dealing with a child that seems to be ADHD, but not at the same time. My mom’s health is perfectly fine for now with the exception that her Alzheimer seems to be getting worse by the day. There isn’t anything new in James and my relationship to write about. So how do I overcome this writer’s block? I watch Disney YouTube channels all the time, I watch the Star Wars Channels all the time, I watch review channels, and photography. What can I write about? I started writing some about the Law Of Attraction some, maybe if I write more about the research I do for my dream home and life? Maybe there is someone else out there like me that wants to know more about Living at Disney? I started to write down ideas for a new blog post. I wanted to share with you a list of ideas that I could be writing about. That is how this blog post came about actually. I started to just write and flowed with it. I ended with the idea of writing about finding some inspiration for my own writing and thought there might be someone else out there that may also need the same inspiration too. 21 Ideas For Blog Post When You Have Writers Block Dream Closet Dream Home Ideas Bucket List Ideas Vacation Mementos Ideas My Christmas Wish List Photographers Christmas Wish List Bloggers Christmas Wish List What is on my Disney Bucket List? Easy meal plans for weight loss Easy meals for lowering cholesterol My favorite family recipes 10 Things about you Home date night ideas Local Travel guide Monthly favorites Morning Routine Evening Routine Your Favorite blogs or blog post Share a memory XX ways you reduce stress. What is your biggest dream Thanks For Reading! ? Pin Me For Later Don’t have time to fully read the post? Want to share it to come back to later? Use your favorite ? and share it on our favorite site, PINTEREST!  Not only does it help you, but it helps us grow and get our information out in front of others too! Are You Following Us On Social Media? Want To Keep Reading? Christmas Traditions | Part Four December 18, 2017 Who doesn’t love surprises! Part four of our Christmas Traditions Series is on Christmas Eve! I couldn’t leave out writing about the most magical night… Learn More 5 More Awesome Places in Texas September 7, 2017 After seeing how well our 8 Epic Places in Texas post went, I wanted to follow-up with 5 more awesome places in Texas. Our little… Learn More DIY Home Decor | His and Her Vows January 14, 2018   Christmas Morning, James and I stood in front of our Christmas Tree and said a few words that will forever be imprinted in my… Learn More Six Flags Over Texas Update and News September 4, 2018 We recently visited Six Flags Over Texas since the Summer season is almost over. It is now time for the park to start working on… Learn More JOIN THE TRIBE Stay in touch with Odysseys With Love and receive weekly newsletters, enter for a chance to win the monthly giveaways, freebies, and so much more! SUBSCRIBE Thank you so much for joining our tribe! I am excited to have you here. Make sure to head over to our FREEBIE LIBRARY and enter the password OWL2018

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The Easiest Way To Create A Child Theme In WordPress

I promised that I would talk about Child Themes and how to use them in the post How to Create a Affiliate or Sponsored Post Disclaimer the other day, and I can’t wait to share with you the easiest way to create one in just a few minutes without having to use FTP software or getting into your file manager in your hosting provider.  I originally learn to do this the hard way, going in and copy and pasting the information from the “Parent Theme” into a new folder, changing code text and more. So this newest method is SO easy! BUT! Check with your theme developer to see if they already provide you with a child theme. I am currently using OceanWP theme since it is compatible with Elementor. The developer there was kind enough to provide a Child Theme for download! So make sure to check there to save you the trouble of creating a new child theme when one is ready to go for you.  What Is A Child Theme? And Why Do You Need One? A Child theme is a number of extra files that we add to our site that is based off of the original theme we have installed. The child theme uses all the files that originate with parent theme, but allows you to make changes that override the original theme in a separate theme folder. This way, when you click on update for your theme and the old files are replaced with new ones, your changes are all safe because they are within a separate theme. Using a child theme keeps all the core file of your parent theme secure. Don’t go rooting around in your parent theme fiddling with files as you could  potentially damage something that could crash your site. When you create a child theme, you only have two files in there so there’s less chance of accidentally break any of the functionality of your website. How Do You Create A Child Theme? First the easiest way is by downloading one from your theme provider. In all honesty I only have one reason so far to have a child theme. For my Affiliate and Sponsored Post Disclaimer. If you are wanting to change your CSS files to customize your site, then you REALLY want to have a child theme. There are many tutorials out there to do this manually, but I have found a Plugin that you WANT to download! Download the Childify Me Plugin You can go and look for the Childify Me Plugin from your Dashboard or just CLICK HERE to go to the Childify Me Plugin WordPress page. It is by Rocco Aliberti.  Install Your Plugin! From your dashboard, head down to plugins, and Add New. You will them either search for the Childify Me plugin or if you downloaded it, click on Upload Plugin.  Locate the file in your downloads folder or where ever you downloaded the plugin to. Select Install.  The next thing you will do is Activate the Plugin.  Go to the appearance tab to themes. When you find the parent theme you want to create a child theme of, hover over that and select Live Preview.  While in the live preview you will notice that there is now the option to Childify Me at the bottom of the customization screen. Click this and rename the theme to “Your WordPress Theme Child”  After you save it, you can now see the new theme in the Themes window. You can now start editing your WordPress Site how ever you wish.  Did This Tutorial Help You? We would love to hear from you and learn if any of this helped you in creating a Child Theme for your WordPress Site! Questions or Comments are always welcome and we love hearing from you!  PIN ME! Want to be able to come back and read this again? Pin one of these images!  

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How To Create A Affiliate Or Sponsored Post Disclaimer

One of the reasons I created Odysseys With Love, is to make money from doing a few things we love. I am not looking to replace all of my income with the blogging income, but it would be nice to be like those Bloggers that claim to be making six figures or more one day from this site. Two methods bloggers use to make an income is Affiliate Links and Sponsored Post.  Affiliate Links are links on a website that when a reader clicks on it, it takes them to another website and if that reader purchases something, the blogger makes a small percentage or commission on that sale. Sponsored Post are blog articles that paid articles that the sponsor is paying the blogger to write.  Those that use Affiliate Links and Sponsored Post are required by law to make a disclosure. Those that use deceptive advertising face serious potential action. The Washington Post shared: The Federal Trade Commission said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships. … I found a tutorial a while back on how I could display my affiliate disclosure easily without having to type it out every time. Just a click of a button on WordPress in the Post section in the back end of WordPress.  So how do I disclose? It is the first thing a reader reads on my article. I don’t want it to be in the post preview or the excerpt. It has to be before the actual affiliate link. So how did I get the disclaimer where I did without it showing? Keep Reading Below…. Download Or Create A Child Theme I honestly believe that every blogger should be using a child theme. If you are changing anything about your theme, you HAVE to use a child theme because if the theme developer makes any changes or updates the theme, you loose ALL of your work.  I am lucky because my theme developer has already created a child theme for me to download and install. So go check out your developers website and see if they provide one for you.  If not, check out my tutorial on how to create a child theme in just a few minutes.  Download The Advance Custom Fields Plugin Install and activate Advanced Custom Field plugin.  Create Custom Fields Now lets create the fields by clicking on Custom Fields in the tool bar. Create a new Field Group and name it Affiliate Disclaimer.  Click on Add Field and Under Field Label enter Affiliate Disclaimer.  The field name will automatically populate with affiliate_disclaimer. You will need this later on.  The Field Type will be Checkbox.  Under choices enter Display Affiliate Disclaimer : Display Affiliate Disclaimer Now if you want to have a default you can enter Display Affiliate Disclaimer in the Default Value Now repeat this with but replace the Affiliate Disclaimer with Sponsored Post.  DON’T GET SCARED! This is why I said you HAVE TO HAVE a child theme! We are going into the back end of your hosting providers FTP. I am with iPage and go into File Manager.  Navigate to wp-content > themes. Here you will see your parent theme and your child theme. If you don’t see the child theme GO BACK and make one now!  Go into your parent theme folder and find the file thats called single.php, singular.php, or something along those lines.  Once you open that file, type something like Hello and save the file. Look at a post on your site, and see if that is where you want your disclaimer. Its ok to test with this and move the words around.  The code below can be change to to what ever words you want. I like including a link to my disclosure policy. The first is my Affiliate Disclaimer, The second is my Sponsored Post. Spice it up! Change the words, make it fun! Check It Out! Lets head back over to your website and create a new post. Underneath the content area, you can now see the Affiliate Disclaimer and Sponsored Post disclaimer check boxes! Click that and preview the post! There it is!  Did You Try It? Did you try out my tutorial? Let us know down in the comments below what wording you used! Follow Us On Social Media Facebook Instagram Pinterest Youtube Twitter Google-plus Want to download one of my free resources? Join The Tribe and receive the Password once your email and opt-in are confirmed!  Join The Tribe! This form collects information we will use to send you weekly updates, special offers, exclusive newsletter-only content, first look at what is new in the resource library, Monthly Giveaways and so much more! Read Our Privacy Policy I Want In Now! Your In! You have successfully joined our subscriber list. Head over to our Resource Library while you wait for your first email! Make sure to check your spam folder! The confirmation email may have been delivered there. Once you are confirmed, you are eligible to win the monthly giveaway!

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Working With My Planner

  Right before Christmas, I picked up a Day Designer for BlueSky planner from Target to try and get a few things organized in my daily life and for the blog. I knew I wanted to start getting everything down so I would not forget something that needed to be done. I loved the weekly planner and it fits in my purse perfectly for on the go. As I started to fill out information in the planner I came into a snag. I want to be able to plan details every day, and the weekly planner really wasn’t working for me. I headed over to Day Designer’s website to start to see if she had a daily planner. Not only does she have daily planners but she also has FREE printables! Using My Planner To Organize My Life and Blog I have found the planner I plan to purchase from Day Designers Website, but in the meantime, I am using her free printable in a binder to get me started on a new routine. I am using her Monthly Callendar to jot down appointments, trips, and blog articles I plan to write over the current month. I used the Intentional Living Worksheet to note the things I want to accomplish including waking up at five am to get my mornings started with James. This month I chose to do the I Am Grateful Challenge on Instagram and I found that her Daily Gratitude Journal is perfect to note each day what the theme is and then expanding on that as the day comes. I then printed off the Cleaning Schedule but chose not to use it for January as I am also doing the PopSugar 30-Day Cleaning Challenge and have that printable right behind the Day Designer Cleaning Schedule. Next thing I did was print off the Weekly Planning Page and the Daily Planning Page. I did edit the PDF files to a 7-day file with the weekly planning page at the front. I printed these front to back, and I can tell my printer if the week is shorter by setting the print range numbers. This way I am not constantly running over to my printer to turn pages around or overprinting. On the Weekly Planning Page, I write down any appointments, trips, etc. I also write down if a bill is due on a certain day. (I used the Due section of the daily planner for something else.) On the Daily Planner, enter all of the appointments, blog post, Instagram theme, and cleaning challenge right away. As I said earlier, I am trying to wake up at five am in the morning to spend time with James. Right after he leaves, I get up and get dressed for the day. I get another cup of coffee and head into my office and open the planner. I check all of the information that I need for the day and then start planning the day. I note what top three things I HAVE TO GET DONE, check the Due section here for a post that is due. The Dollars Section is where I put any money coming in that day. Then comes my To-Do section of the planner. Right now I am using this for the challenges, other chores, and anything that needs to be done. I also check to see if I have clients or if there is an appointment. At the bottom of the worksheet, I put what time I woke up at. The last three days, I have made it to Five AM!!! But, Monday and Tuesday I overslept. The last thing is the Daily Gratitude. This is where I also check the Instagram theme of the day for this month at least. This will change for the rest of the year. In different areas of the binder, for now, I have printed off the 50 Best Practices for living a well-designed life and right before the planner pages start I have the 2018 Calendar. Behind the calendar, I have the Bucket List printable and the 86 List for the Planner Obsessed. So Am I Feeling Organized? I know that I am still fumbling with this whole planning thing. I have reprinted the first four pages of January twice because I have messed up somewhere. My goal is to purchase a new daily planner from Day Designer by the end of January, but just in case I did print up daily pages until April. I am also putting important appointments and client information in the planner from Target and keeping it in my purse. That way if I am out and about, I am able to set appointments or schedule clients as needed. There are a few more printable that I do want to check out and see if I want to print and including in my temporary planner or wait to see what all comes with the bound one from Day Designer. I may also get Skyler one of the new planners when they come out with the academic year one later on since she will start middle school next year and will have individual classes so she can keep up and not forget things like I always did. Best to get her started now. I know I am new to planning on paper. After reaching adulthood and getting my first smartphone, I have always had a digital calendar and I ALWAYS forgot appointments or the notice never came. With a paper planner I ALWAY know what I have going on, I can write out post ideas, and so much more this way. Things I Want To Help with My Planning The first few things are PRETTY STICKERS! Why? I want to make my planner unique like myself and my family. I want to customize the planner for ME. I also want to have different color pens, as you can see in the few pictures I have shared I am using a highlighter for Instagram post, and orange for my blog post. I HATE both of these but otherwise its just black ink. I found the metallic ink and then the huge box of colors that would be great not only for the planner but for adult coloring books also. Are you a planner? What All do you include in yours? I would love to know how you go about planning your day.  Find Your Day Designer Planner here: https://odysseyswithlove.com/DayDesigner

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Happy New Years

First, I want to say Happy New Years Everyone! It is that time of year that everyone starts to make their resolutions about becoming a new you, making your life better, and so on. I have failed at my resolutions every year so I am going to make it a LOT easier for myself this year. Happy New Year, New Me! This year, I want to start to complete a new 30-day challenge each month. One of them I will be trying to complete each month until it becomes ingrained in my brain. The other challenge can change each month as they will be: work out challenges relationship challenges parenting challenges photography Challenges. I will be introducing an Instagram hashtag each month for those of you that want to follow my progress each month. January’s 30 Day Challenge Part One I looked through Pinterest last night before the ball dropped for ideas. I came upon the Popsugar 30 Day Cleaning challenge and this one I knew would make my mom happy as I will admit it, I SUCK at cleaning. #30DayCleaningChallenge January’s 30 Day Challenge Part Two The next Challenge since I want to do the cleaning one every month until it is truly ingrained in me will be Instagram related. Not only will this make me a better blog photographer, it will also give me a chance to learn more about my new iPhone and how to use it. So I want to do the January Photo Challenge from Fizzle Out with the hashtag #iamgrateful

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Whats going on at Odysseys With Love

Sorry if it seems we have gone MIA the last few days! It has been a hectic few days over here at the Odysseys Household. I wanted to share with you whats going on with Odysseys With Love. We have a few new things to share and several updates for you. Whats Going On: Giveaways We have a Giveaway currently running right now until midnight on February 14th, 2017. What is it you ask? A Seven Piece Nightmare Before Christmas Ornament Set. Our favorite movie to watch between Halloween Night and Christmas Eve, as we can NEVER figure out when we are really supposed to watch this one. Check it out below and use the signup form to win! Whats Going On: Skylers Blackouts Some of you may have seen a few post about Skyler’s doctor’s appointments that we have had. Luckily we were able to see the neurologist last week and she is wanting us to have an MRI and EEG done to look at her brain as we have ruled out the cause being her eyes. We also received word back from her speech therapist for the assessment for in-home speech therapy. So we have a lot going on with this one medically. Whats Going On: Weekend Adventures? I posted the video earlier this week of Skyler’s Archery Class, but in case you missed it, I will link it down below. Skyler has bugged us for weeks about getting a bow and arrow. When it was time to go to the class, Skyler was EXTREMELY excited. I even talked to the main trainer about scheduling Skyler private One-on-One classes with him as I am afraid Skyler will not receive the attention she needs in the larger class if this is what she is wanting to do. A New Baby! That’s Whats Going On No, no, no! I am not pregnant, nor have I just had a new baby. But, Skyler’s Aunt, well I call her my Sister-In-Law, just had her little one this weekend and I had the most mind-blowing experience! I got to sit in the operating room with her while she had a c-section! I caught her little one’s first moments and I couldn’t be more excited! She trusted me enough to call me when she needed me, I am VERY bad at being social even with family. Just a little capture from shortly after she was born! FREEBIES! Did You Know Whats Going On? Yes, by signing up for our email list I have a LOT more than just freebies for you! I have a huge section of resources available for both Bloggers wanting tips and resources for writing, but I have another for everyone else that reads the blog! I have a Photography and Video Tips and resource sections also! You will also get a coupon code for all of the digital products in our store to get them for free!

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Pinterest Groups & Tailwind

We are changing things up with Odysseys With Love and we are now including blogging tips on Thursdays. I have run some sort of blog over the last 10 years. Like what was mentioned in the last Blogger Tips Post, some were successful, others not so much. Life sometimes gets in the way. Over the past few weeks, I have dug deep into learning how to increase our visibility on Pinterest. We are still learning and invite you to learn with us about using Pinterest Group Boards and Tailwind. We are still learning why both of these are essential things to do starting out our blog. What are Pinterest Groups? Pinterest Groups and Group Boards are boards on Pinterest that have several members that all pin their post to this board in particular. If you look at our boards you will see that 90% of them have both James and I on them.  You can add collaborators to them from those that follow your board or your account. We created a Pinterest Group Board and have invited several of the other bloggers that are currently following us from another group. I have asked that others that would like to join this board also follow our Pinterest page and send me a quick email to let me know they would like to join. The boards all have different themes. Ours is a free-for-all board. Anyone can post any pin that their heart desires. I am part of another group board that it is only for travels post, and another for only female bloggers. Every owner of a group board can set their own rules to the board, we are very lax in ours since we want to help promote readership not only on our own post but for all of our blogging friends. How do you find Group Boards? In our research, I found a great way to find other boards to join, and have also entered our own board to this one. Head over to PinGroupie, and take a look around. I filter down my search by category. If I am wanting to find one with a lot of collaborators, you can filter it down by that. Another way is to filter it down by pins. Click on the board you would like to see, and it brings you to that Pinterest board. Make sure you read the description and instructions on how to join the board. After you do this, wait to be approved to join. Be a good Pinterest Neighbor. I don’t know about you or other pinners, but I do like to go through the boards and find the post I would like to read. I then Use the next item on this list to schedule pins out. Did you also know that you can comment on a pin? Not many bloggers or pinners know this. If I find a Pinterest account that I love, and find a pin that I have enjoyed, I try to comment on it. Why? It is showing love to that pinner and it may bring that pinner back to your Pinterest account, and they may follow you! So not only have you showed some love, but you may just well find a Pinterest/Blogging Buddy! What is Tailwind? Tailwind is a great program that we have installed into chrome that we are able to schedule our pins and other bloggers pin-worthy images. Tailwind also has a Smart Pinning aglitham that will let us know when the best time for us to pin our images to Pinterest. Want a free month? Using our link gives you a free month to try out Tailwind! Tailwind has opened up so much time for us that we are not constantly pinning things on Pinterest and I am not having to find the best times myself to pin our images. Go ahead and give it a try! Its free!

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Our Favorite Blogging Tools

Over the past few years, I have run a few different blogs. Some were successful, others not so much. We know a lot of our readers are also travel bloggers and are always looking for awesome blogging tools to help set up their blog for success. We wanted to share with you our favorite tools that we use on a daily basis. Why do we, as bloggers need different tools to help us? Blogging tools are actually essential when it comes to running a successful blog. We use all of the tools listed below on a daily basis to help run Odysseys With Love proficiently. Some of these we would not even be able to run the website at all without. Using these tools also helps free up time away from the computer and our smartphones. This way we are able to spend more time with our family, making memories and experiencing new things. One thing about Odysseys With Love is that as a family we are trying to earn an income with what we are doing here. Some of the tools we use are specifically for that. Others are to help make the website pretty and to keep our readers coming back for more information. More views we have, the better chance that we make an income from the website. iPage – Our Hosting Company – First of the Blogging Tools You NEED In order to run and optimize a blog correctly, you need to have a blog page hosted on a hosting company. I have been running a website through iPage for a while now with Megan Nance Photography. If I have ever run into an issue with our sites, I jump onto their 24/7 chat window and we are able to get the issue sorted out fairly quickly. $1.99 Coupon Code: LOWESTPRICE, you can choose to only have one year of service for a little bit higher price and remove the extras. We also install WordPress through their CPanel and MOJO Marketplace, and it is just a one-click install. Canva for Work I am constantly on Canva creating graphics. We recently upgraded to the Canva for Work. We upgraded so we would be able to use their images for our Pinterest and blog banners. Canva also has 1,000’s of templates from logos to media kits that you can use even on the free side. We also use Canva for our YouTube cover art and so much more. Canva is free to use, but many of the graphics and images on the site do cost money to use. If you upgrade to a flat monthly fee, it opens up many of these graphics. Constant Contact – Email Marketing   Have you seen our Magazine? We send out a monthly magazine using Constant Contact to our readers that choose to sign up for our email list. This means that these readers have a first look at the magazine and they are also entered into our monthly giveaway. WordPress and Jetpack offer an email subscriber signup list, but this only sends out emails as you write a post. You can not send out an email to your subscribers with other details and information. We signed up with Constant Contact through iPage, which is free for your first 500 email subscribers. If you are using another hosting provider, head over to Constant Contact and sign up for their free trial. Tailwind – Auto Pinning to Pinterest One thing I have noticed is Pinterest is one of the largest search engines driving traffic to our website. Before finding Tailwind, I would spend a lot of time pinning images and repining onto different boards to keep my pins always active. Tailwind does this for me now. I can schedule my pins for different times of the day, or I can schedule repins to revive old pins that would otherwise be dead. I use this a lot for not only my blog post pins but also for the pins in my Things We Love Board.  This board is filled with our Amazon Finds. Sign up for a free month of Tailwind HERE. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom I am going to slip this one in right here. I actually use the all apps plan since I also create YouTube videos and other things. Yes, I still use Canva, but Photoshop and Lightroom organize my images and I am able to fully edit them to how I want. If I wanted to, I could create all of our graphics in Photoshop, but canva is so much easier. Lightroom has been a lifesaver as a photographer. I am able to organize all of my images for both Odysseys With Love and for Megan Nance Photography. I am able to also edit them right in Lightroom. Unless I am going to do a photomanipulation or I am doing heavy editing, I rarely ever open Photoshop. If you choose to go with the All App plan like we have, you will also get After Effects and Premiere Pro. Both of these I use when creating our YouTube Videos. I did create a “Master Template” for Premiere Pro that I just drag and drop our video clips into and then work on matching the frames to the music or if we are doing a voice over. Cameras! and Video Cameras Blogs heavily rely on images and graphics. The best camera is the camera that you have. A cell phone works wonders when you’re on the go. Want to invest in your blog, purchase one of the cameras listed below and watch a few YouTube videos to learn how to use it. I will be teaching a beginners class here on the blog also for the “momtographer.” YouTube is another addition to your blog. We use the Action camera listed below also 99% of the time. These two things have been the biggest investment for blogging tools for us. Fiverr There are things that we all can do, for the things that we can’t do, there is Fiverr! I couldn’t get our Logo out of our minds and onto Photoshop. I went to Fiverr and contacted an artist there about the design we had in our head. We ended up getting our simple logo, but it is who we are. You can go over to Fiverr and search for anything that you need or want to be done. You will always find someone within your budget that will be able to get it done to your liking. Things like Graphic and Design, Digital Marketing, Writing and Translation, Video and Animation, Music and Animations, Programming and Tech, Business and then you also have the Fun and Lifestyle sections. Have a service you could offer? Go ahead and offer it on Fiverr. Grammarly I don’t know about you, but I misspell things all the time. I sometimes use improper grammar. When I found out about Grammarly, I had to install it to my browser ASAP. It has been a huge relief.

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Welcome!

Hi! Im Megan! I am a photographer and writer behind Odysseys With Love. I am a Mother and Wife and enjoy sharing our everyday life journey. From our The Mesquite Texas Guide and Wandering In DFW to helping other bloggers work from home, I love what I do. 

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