Tuesday Resource of the Day

DEAL OF THE DAY

Flash Sale: 30% off orders over $50 at Fanatics.com with code QUICK30 – deal expires 9am (EST) tomorrow morning 11/16/2016.

We are starting a new column on the blog called Resource Tuesday – where we discuss a cool new resource we found online. Let me know in the comment area if you’ve heard of, are using or or plan to use our Tuesday Resource of the Day. And as usual, feel free to share your personal fave in the comment area.

Resource Name: Pocket

Description: A very cool “save for later”app which lets you save any article from the web, any video, photo, meme – to read later on your device of choice. Whether at home on the PC, or on the go via your smartphone – Pocket is a fun and very useful resource. One of my favorite features of Pocket is the ability to view what you save without net connection. So if you happen to be in an area without the web, you can still access most if not all of the content that you have saved. Making it ideal for long commutes, waiting in line, or just about any place where there’s a bit of free time and no web access.

Where to get it: online at GetPocket.com

Price: $ FREE

Mini Review: Awesome no cost app and site to save articles, videos, memes, photos, etc to view and read later. Easy to use, lots of neat features and available for the PC on the web or as an app for your iPhone or Android device.

 

NEW! Web Content Service: Blog Posts and Articles (Various Niches)

fiverr web content banner

As a blogger and writer for hire, I know the tremendous demand for web content and how some blog owners sometimes need help with keeping their blogs updated. I know at times I do. As such, I decided to create a service for blog and site owners.

Let me write or update your blog for you.

I created the service on Fiverr because it’s a great and easy platform for services and everything can be handled through their interface.

fiverr web content banner

On Fiverr – I have a few gigs, one of which is for web content. Through this gig, I will write original web content such as blog posts and articles for the standard Fiverr price. Should you need the content sooner, I can do it for an additional fee. The articles will be written by me and not anyone else, 100% original, in a niche I’m familiar with, have prior experience in – and up to 600 words.

As mentioned in my gig, please do contact me first BEFORE placing an order to discuss your needs or the order will be cancelled. I just would like to learn more about what your article needs are to see whether I can accommodate or not.

Some of the niches I can write a blog post or article in are:

  • green and eco friendly living
  • basic personal finance (not accounting, stocks, etc)
  • fitness
  • apps
  • blogging/social media/Wordpress
  • fashion
  • travel
  • deals and discounts
  • blogging, social media, WordPress
  • online marketing

Go to Fiverr here.

Please check out my blog posts and article gig and if you need my services – hit the contact button on Fiverr. The turnaround time for articles is 2 days but should you need them sooner, I can do so for an additional fee through the (gig extras) section. Convo me first BEFORE placing an order and let me help you out with your web content needs. 🙂

4 Ways To Stay Current On Blogging News…

blogging industry news

blogging industry news

If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to the blogging world is…change. From social media to content marketing and SEO to blogging design, changes are part of the program.

But what makes blogging challenging is what also makes it fun and interesting.

If it never changed, blogging as we know it would be extinct, and something else would have taken over by now.

One part of blogging – for example social media is a never ending sea of changes – especially Facebook. They’re constantly tweaking and tweaking the site and its many functionalities. So much so, it has changed leaps and bounds from when it first began and was only open to college students. Remember that? Yep! there was a time Facebook was only open to college students and one needed a student email address to sign up. You didn’t have one, you couldn’t sign up.

Lots has changed since then and as long as Mark Zuckerberg is behind the wheel – I imagine it will continue to. This is both good and bad; good in the sense that it’s basically always finding new ways to stay ahead of the curve and be innovative; bad in the sense that we as publishers and bloggers need to constantly keep up with these myriad of changes and that can certainly be quite the challenge. In fact, really it has become a full time task; that’s why we now have social media managers and community managers and such to keep up with what us bloggers sometimes cannot.

However there are several good blogs dedicated to these changes; and that’s where this articles comes into play. Not just social media, but blogging and online marketing in general.

1. Blogging, Alltop.com –

Alltop is a content curator in different topics and one of those topics is blogging, it’s a page with the latest news all about blogging from different sites around the web. From blog marketing to blog security and blog content ideas to WordPress changes; Alltop is a great one stop shop for blogging industry news.

2. Social Media Examiner –

This is the go to resource for all things social media and the one place I always refer anyone who wants info or simply the latest on the major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. From how to tutorials to the latest apps and tools and the many changes the networks put out, Social Media Examiner is your go to resource. One day they might discuss the new Facebook image cover designs and the next day its all about how Pinterest users can create a public or private group in their accounts. And they discuss the changes in depth with info, exclusive tips, screenshots and many times step-by-step tutorials.

3. Problogger –

Darren Rowse has a category called blog news and its great reading for when you want to catch up on the topic and have the time to do so; your commute to and from work, waiting at the docs office, or maybe make it part of your nightly bedtime reading ritual. He sets it up as a round up series of blogging news and recaps and covers a bit of everything blogging related.

4. Entrepreneur.com Blogging –

The Entrepreneur.com Blogging section is great at gathering news and the latest on tools and apps for bloggers. We see everything from blog success stories to blog trends and lots of helpful blog content ideas.

(Bonus #5) Latina Bloggers Connect Weekly News Round Ups –

We had to add this one to our list as well, as Tracy Lopez does a great job of covering blog news with her LBC weekly blogging round ups which have (recent) blogging tips, trends, news, events, and more which any blogger (Latina or not) can benefit from. We love her content curation and think you will too – have a look and feel free to share any of her tips and or blogging news links with your networks.

It can be difficult to keep up with the many changes blogging has in store for us, but reading and following those who cover the topic exclusively or even occasionally is a great way to stay in touch. The sites mentioned above all do this and are quite helpful in this regard. Follow them via RSS, Facebook or whatever your preference is for reading blog articles and we hope this keeps you abreast of the ever changing awesomeness that is blogging.

***How do you stay current with blogging? Tell me on my Facebook page please.

Top 5 Chicago Deal Sites (For this #Weekend)

blueman group chicago tickets

blueman group chicago tickets

Deal sites have been around for quite a while now, and since then many have come and gone – while others remain and become bigger and more popular than ever. There’s a reason these sites have stood the test of time and its because they met a well needed demand.

Saving money!

Consumers love to save money and that’s exactly what these deal sites do – save consumers dollars. So let’s take a look at what we consider the top 5 Chicago deal sites to visit. Looking for something fun and affordable to do this weekend? Try one of the many deals offered on the sites below.

  1. Crowd Seats – this is a ticket deal site that has a Chicago category and whatever ticket need you have, Crowd Seats most likely has it in stock and ready to ship or buy online. From sports (Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, etc) to popular Chicago plays and top notch Chicago concert events. Good deals can be found through Crowd Seats or you can offer up the discounted event tickets as a gift idea.
  2. Trivago Chicago – is a hotels deal site with a Chicago section. You can search by reviews, stars, price, location, amenities or simply by name. They have an app for those who prefer to search while on the go. The site also has good information on each hotel, complete with lots of photos and some with even video. Customer reviews are available and readily displayed for a variety of hotels to help you make a decision one way or the other. Basically Trivago is a hotels search engine making it easier and faster for you to find the perfect (and affordable) Chicago lodging for you and your family.
  3. Groupon – this city based deal site has been around long enough, where you most likely have already heard of it, maybe even used it a few times. But did you know Groupon is based in Chicago and has been since 2008. In fact, today Groupon celebrates its 8th year anniversary as according to Wikipedia – the company was founded on January 15th, 2008. Congrats!!! This site has it share of fans (as well as non-fans) but there’s no mistaking the sheer number of AWESOME DEALS that you can find through this site. And specifically for Chicago – from restaurants to local business services and hotels to entertainment; Groupon has it all.
  4. Living Social – Living Social like #3 on our list also has lots of discounts on dining, fashion, services, travel and more. However for some reason, this site didn’t quite take off like Groupon did, but its still around and still has fabulous deals you can score. As I write this, Living Social Chicago has 1,077 deals for you to look at and benefit from. Such as Admission for 1,2 or 4 to a Chinatown food tour of Chicago or how about some Tango classes. This is definitely a fun site with many different types of deals offered. Enjoy!
  5. Goldstar Chicago – this is perhaps the least known of the deal sites on my list, but not sure why when it has really great offerings. Especially in Chicago entertainment such as comedy shows, musicals, local plays, conventions, dinner shows and more. For example, why pay full price on a pair of tickets to go see the awesome Blue Man Group extravaganza when you can pay almost half. Why? We say head on over to Goldstar Chicago and net yourself some savings and see a great show all at the same time. image source: (Goldstar)

If you found this Chicago deals sites list helpful, please share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. (pretty please and thank you!)

We appreciate you visiting, reading and or sharing. 🙂

50 Plus Blog Post Ideas for Chicago Bloggers

chicago bloggers blog post ideas photo

chicago bloggers blog post ideas photo

This is my personal list of blog post ideas, that I keep updating as time goes on. As you can see the list has grown to 50 plus ideas. I’ve decided to open up my list for you other local Chicago bloggers. Need ideas for content? Here you go – see my list below.

Good luck! Get to writing!!! (and also remember your blog categories)

The few at the top I scratched off I already wrote about; but there’s still plenty to choose from. And think of these as primers, starters or ideas you can modify according to your specific niche and audience. If you decide to use one, leave a comment below and let me know so I can scratch it off the list and I will do the same. Happy Blogging!

1. 6 Fabulous Chicago Cubs Shirts for the Ladies

2. 6 Great Chicago Cubs Shirts for the Guys

3. Three Easy Ways To Save On Drinking Water/Coffee/Tea for the Summer/Winter

4. WordPress Q&A – What WordPress Questions Do You Have?

5. Blogging Q&A – What Blogging Questions Do You Have?

6. 4 Cool Chicago Based Tech Products and or Companies

7. What’s Your Favorite Chicago Based TV Show? Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, The Good Wife, Mike & Molly

8. What’s Your Favorite Chicago Based Rock Band? Smashing Pumpkins,

9. Actor? harrison ford, george lucas, vince vaughn, joe mantegna,

10. Actress? tina fey, melissa mccarthy, jenny mccarthy,

11. Comedian? steve harvey,

12. Talk Show Host? steve harvey, oprah,

13. News Anchor?

14. Athlete? rizzo, cutler, rose, crawford, butler, noah, arrieta, forte,

15. Cell Phone Service?

16. Cable Service?

17. Chicago Beach?

18. Mini Golf/Golf/Chicago Park/Outdoor Space?

19. Roller Skating/Lazer Tag/Bowling/Batting Cages/Indoor Space?

20. Movie Theater?

22. Parade? pride, st paddys, bud biliken, puerto rican, sports, new years eve, etc

23. Outdoor Pool?

24. Gym?

25. Outdoor Activity? walking, biking, hiking, rock climbing, running, gardening, swimming,

26. Pub?

27. Chicago Baseball Team? Cubs or Sox

28. Ways to Enjoy Chicago During the Summer on The Cheap?

29. Ways To Mini Splurge As a Family in Chicago During the Summer?

30. Ways to Mini Splurge As a Single in Chicago During the Summer?

31. Golfer?

32. Chicago blogger?

33. Chicago blog?

34. Chicago news site?

35. Chicago entertainment website?

36. Fave Summer Staycation Spot in Chicago?

37. Fave Name Brand Discount Retailer? Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Outlet Malls,

38. Arcade Bar?

39. Fave Chicago radio station? B96, 101, 103,

40. Free health and or medical services in Chicago – annual eye exams for kids, free screenings, senior services, blood drives, etc.

41. Free tech support in Chicago –

42. Free condoms and pregnancy testing in Chicago –

43. List of service providers in Chicago – dog walkers, massage, nails, haircut, fitness/diet consultations, tax prep/help, mortgage consultation, blogging, websites, grocery delivery service, free food such as food pantries, elder care, pet care, lawn service, snow removal service, handyman work, junk haul away, house cleaning, house painting, Holiday decor/x-mas tree removal, heating and cooling, catering, tech help, pet sitting, travel help, disaster relief, storm shelters,    and more.

44. List of free B-day stuff in Chicago – food, drinks, desserts, appetizers, services, coupons, discounts and deals

45. Xmas – ways to decorate on the cheap, ways to do secret Santa on the cheap, great gift ideas under $50, gift ideas under $10,

46. Holiday – ways to celebrate on the cheap, cooking, baking, DIY gifts and decor,

47. Superbowl – football cookies, football clothing and accessories, halftime party ideas, halftime food ideas, party theme ideas in general,

48. Gift Ideas – techie stuff such as cell phone cases, portable chargers, iPad cases, kindle cases, cell phone and tablet accessories, cell phone purses,

49. Etsy Finds – cool finds on Etsy for Xmas gift ideas

50. Black Friday – gift ideas, deals and discounts, how to save, best deals on outerwear, tech; music, movies, cell phones, TV’s, laptops, tablets, jewelry, boots.

51. Chicago Bloggers Round Up – article round up of local Chicago bloggers.

52. Virtual Holiday Secret Santa from Local Bloggers

53. Awareness and or Fundraising Blog Post – for your favorite charity or cause

How To Detox from Your Smartphone, Plus #TheColorRun 2015

smartphone detox the color run graphic

We all do it. We all check our phones or tablets every 10 seconds. Let’s face it – we’re addicted to social media, shopping online, browsing products and services on the go, Googling a/k/a searching and the web in general.

How do we stop this madness???

How do we at least lessen it some.

What about you. What are your thoughts on the smartphone detox ideas below?

smartphone detox the color run graphic

The guys and gals over at The Color Run – which by the way is a super fun 5k race/walk – have on their blog a copy of a great info graphic on how to “DETOX FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE”. It’s a daily step by step on what to do and how to lessen your cell usage. See it above. The Color Run team is all about healthy living and pursuing an active lifestyle, so this graphic hit home for them and us. That’s why we’re sharing it here, too.

If you live in Chicago, the next Color Run is Saturday 10/17 in Champaign, IL.

This is a fun 5k race/walk but it also raises funds for charity, and the particular charity that will benefit for this race is the The United Way.

Going back to the graphic above, Friday and Saturday seem especially kind of hard to do – for die hard social media addicts, right?

Friday – Go out to dinner and leave your phone at home. Really? (I don’t know about this one. I can easily see myself not using my phone during dinner, but leaving it at home entirely. I don’t think so.)

Saturday – Do not look at or post to social media. (at all) Wow! (this seems difficult, but yes! it is very doable) I can do this one.

What about you. What are your thoughts on the smartphone detox ideas above?

SPECIAL COUPON CODE FOR THE COLOR RUN BELOW:

Chicago Cubs Head to the 2015 NLDS – #GoJakeArrietaGo

Jake Arrieta in Wild Card Game - Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
Jake Arrieta in Wild Card Game - Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 07: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch in the first inning during the National League Wild Card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on October 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

What a game it was. Right from the start pitcher Jake Arrieta led the team by striking out Pirate after Pittsburgh Pirate. It was amazing to watch this guy at his absolute best!

My family and I were in awe pretty much throughout the whole game at how good Arrieta played and how the team in general rallied behind him to keep the game scoreless. When Kyle Schwarber stepped up to the plate and hit that home run we all went nuts with excitement and knew it was going to be a fantastic night of baseball. And it was. 🙂

This video from MLB.com gives a nice recap of the game and how it all went down.

Now as they prepare to start the playoff games, we wish them nothing but the best. And may Jake Arrieta bring us more awesomeness – you can do it Jake! We are so behind you and cheering you on and on.

Go Jake!!! Go Cubbies!!!

Did you watch the wildcard game? What did you think? How exciting was Arrieta?

Next game is tomorrow – Friday 10/09/2015 against the St. Louis Cardinals. These two teams have a long standing rivalry which should make for another super exciting match up.

We can’t wait for the playoff games and are literally on the edge of our seats to see how this pans out and dare we say – how close we get to the WORLD SERIES!!!!! 🙂 🙂

Chicago Bloggers Local Link Up – 9/10/2015 #MidwestBloggers

chicago bloggers local link up

chicago bloggers local link up

I am borrowing this idea from the Virginia Bloggers blog and membership site. They’re a city blog that promotes local bloggers with a weekly local link up. I love the idea and wish to do the same here, just need to get the word out and let others know. If you happen to come on by and see this and are a Chicago blogger, please spread the word. I plan to do this link up weekly, depending on participation and at the very least, could also just do it bi weekly.

YOU tell me. YOU let me know. YOU decide.

It’s easy, simply drop your latest post below via the (InLinkz) link. A pic along with a link to your post will appear on the weekly link up. Sharing is appreciated, spreading the word on your Twitter and Facebook will get us ALL more traction. Use hashtag: #MFClinkup

1. October is looking like a great time to visit one of our fine museums, since we’re having our very first dedicated “Museum Week”. Madeline Wolfson from Time Out Chicago has all the deets on the museums participating, the free or discounted days and the many special events. Plan now, for a great family outing in October.

2. Looking for some good restaurant and meal ideas for this week? Here are a few awesome ones from Chicago Magazine’s website. Honey Butter Fried Chicken restaurant (on Elston Avenue) sounds like a hot spot!

3. I just ran into Midwest Bloggers on Facebook, and as their name suggests – they’re a network of bloggers from the Midwest such as Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to have found them, as the site is run by a couple of local gals who each also run fabulous blogs, so do give this network a look if you’re a Chicago blogger.

Leave your link below – remember to leave the title of your blog post in the (name) field.

Techie Friday: Your Blogging, WordPress & Social Media Questions Answered

techie friday banner

techie friday banner

We’ve decided to make Fridays here – Techie Friday. So get your blogging, WordPress and social media questions lined up and we will do our best to get you an answer. Anything from how to install a WordPress widget to how to automate your blog posts to social media; including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. There’s a lot to blogging from initial set up to design and content to managing the back end software and of course growing and keeping a readership. So much to manage, learn and keep up with.

We might not have an answer to your question, and if so – we will do our best to direct you to a good resource.

But if we have the answer, we will answer it here on this very post (*as an update) or below in the comments section.

Go!

Possible techie questions:

Content ideas?

How to place ads on blog?

Where to find a design for my blog?

Best way to promote on Facebook?

We look forward to your techie questions as it relates to blogging.

4 Great Chicago Cubs Shirts for Fans

mens sleeveless chicago cubs tee shirt

1. Men’s Chicago Cubs Crew Neck Tee Shirt –

This Navy blue Chicago Cubs tee shirt is great for the fan who wants a simple and classic tee to wear on game day. Perfect 100% cotton jersey knit shirt (brand new!) in sizes Large, Extra Large and XXL. Comes from eBay seller (onestopfanshop) and comes with fast FREE expedited shipping. $26

mens chicago cubs crew neck tee shirt

2. Women’s Majestic “Curveball Babe” Chicago Cubs Shirt –

I love this (brand new!) Majestic Curveball Babe Chicago Cubs women’s v neck shirt. It comes from well known MLB brand Majestic and features the Cubs red, white and blue colors along with the logo front and center. It’s sexy, cute and great for any female Cubbie fan. $23

curveball babe chicago cubs womens vneck tee shirt

3. Men’s Sleeveless Chicago Cubs Tee –

Like to show off your guns? Man muscle guns that is. Then this Stitches brand men’s sleeveless tee shirt should be right up your alley. We like it’s simple design, Cubbie colors and the price is not too shabby either at $10 with low cost US shipping.

mens sleeveless chicago cubs tee shirt

 

4. Women’s Rizzo Classic Chicago Cubs Shirt –

We heart Anthony Rizzo # and his homerun hitting ways. This women’s Rizzo Chicago Cubs official tee from Majestic captures our fandom for him perfectly. Agree? Disagree? What say you – let us know below what you think of this and all four of our Chicago Cubs tee shirts. $24

womens rizzo chicago cubs official tee

 

Speak your peace below. Thanks in advance and as always thank you for reading!!!!! 🙂