Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Build Your Blog With An E-mail Campaign!

This blog may receive compensation, samples and uses affiliate and non-affiliate links for information purposes!

I've been blogging for awhile now. Because I started it up as a hobby, I never really wanted to put a whole lot of money into it. I've been pretty picky and choosy about what kind of expert I will rely on, which conferences I'm going to attend, and which services are necessary for me and my blog. I've found that there are plenty of people wanting to spin their products as indispensable to my success as a blogger, all to their own ends. Just saying, the next SEO expert from India, Sri Lanka or China wanting to develop my web page and springboard me to the first page of Google Search, will still get a resounding 'No Thank You' from me!

But one thing I've realized is that some things are just necessary. If traffic and response to your website is what you want, then you want to create an e-mail list! Next, you want to have a good email provider to get the message out there! 

E-mail marketing is an important tool for promoting a blog. Together with some good SEO, this instrument can bring your website to the top of search engines. In addition, e-mail marketing will help build the good reputation of a blog or brand, as well as gain the loyalty of your readers. It is very easy for a newcomer in this area to get confused. So before launching an e-mail marketing campaign you need to build a clear plan of action. Define the main goal you want to achieve with your e-mail campaign.

One Of The Most Effective Ways To Promote Content 

Thanks to email newsletters you can:
  • Achieve targeted actions such as site registration, visits to landing pages, etc.
  • Increase audience trust to the site
  • Inform users about innovations
  • Motivate to purchase
  • Make a regular visitor a regular reader
Email marketing is an important part of internet marketing for bloggers. More than 34% of the population uses e-mail, with users sending approximately 196 billion emails. Experts predict an increase in coverage to  2.8 billion people by 2020. According to the recent researches, online retailers that were using email marketing were able to achieve a profit increase of 24%.

Picking the right e-mail service provider (ESP) is not always easy but a very important part of an email marketing campaign. You want to ensure your ESP offers the elements that will help you make your email marketing efforts a success. To help you choose, here are six helpful things to look for:

Look for an email service with an average delivery rate of 98% or higher!
I've been really happy with the Email Service Provider I am working with. They have treated me quite well and I'm happy to recommend them here!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Those Darn Science Projects + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I remember the days when I tried so hard to get my son to do school projects. The resistance I got was unbelievable sometimes!
Science fair, health fair, and other academic and art related projects or recitals all were met with procrastination, arguing, half-hearted effort at best, crying, dodging, and refusal. He is very intelligent, and I say that because he walked away from his academic career with a Master's Degree in Business  Administration and is doing his thing as a City Planner in a city in the Midwest. He's in charge of a lot of things and heads up plenty of committees and is a regular contributor at City Council Meetings.

During his elementary years, it seemed like I was the one doing the homework, the planning, dreaming up the ideas and everything else. I felt like I was actually sometimes physically moving his hand with the marker on the poster board, willing him to do it! Maybe I should have just let him do a Lego project. That's what he loved! 

Now that he's gone, he will call me and share with me some of the ups and downs he has at his job, and in his life. No longer am I physically willing him to get his projects done. He is the one that has to do that. And frankly, I'm amazed at his ability and his drive to do such a great job in his field.

I often miss those times when I had a little more control in what he did every day. Now all I can do is put my worry skills to work, and they are very refined. My grandmother was a pro at worrying and I seem to have inherited that propensity.

I am now able to help several students at my school complete assignments and practice academics every day. It is very difficult for them---because they are special education students and English isn't their first language. So they have it doubly difficult. But due to my experience at helping my, at times, wayward child be the best he could be, I'm happy to be a guiding hand behind some of their success in school. I know that someday it will pay off! 

If you're a parent wondering how much you should or shouldn't help your child down the pathway of life, just know that you are the one that knows your child the best. You know instinctively what they are capable of. But know this--you will be surprised at how much more they really are capable of. If they seem to be leaning on you more than you'd like right now, just be patient. If you are patient, they will literally grow wings and fly. And you will be happy you were there when they needed you, but didn't let you know in so many words.
  Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)   

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

How To Choose Your Child's First Pet

As you might know, I am a huge animal lover, and especially have an affinity for dogs. They are such intelligent and loving creatures and humans do well learning from them. I feel like anyone who has a shred of good in them, or has a hope to have good instilled within them, should have a dog, or at least access to one. Dogs are ultra sensitive, giving, loyal, and loving, to name just a few characteristics! Having said that, you want to have a pet that is right for you and your child! There is nothing more sad than seeing a dog dropped off at the shelter because the owners couldn't handle the responsibility of being dog owners. Shelters are not any kind of substitute for a caring and loving home. Shelters try to adopt the dogs out, but if they can't within a certain window of time, the future isn't good for that once wanted and loved puppy.
I am featuring a guest writer who is in agreement with me on those points! Introducing Cassandra Matheson! Take it away, Cassandra!

"A dog is the only thing in the world that loves you more than you love yourself," said Josh Billings. For this reason and many more, dogs are the most popular companion animals, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Among cage and exotic animals, aquarium fish are more preferred as compared to their closest competitors which include rabbits, ferrets, turtles, and snakes.

 At some point in their childhood, most kids will ask their parents for a pet. Selecting the perfect one should be done with caution as it will create a foundation for the child to become a worthy pet owner in the future. The ideal pet should give your child a great experience while sparing your finances. 

Are You And Your Child Ready For A Pet?

The first  two questions to ask yourself are whether the child is ready to adopt the pet and if you are ready to monitor the new household. As a mother, you should not hand over the care of a new pet entirely to your children, especially if they are young. "Parents have the ultimate responsibility for pet care. If you give your child chores to do for the pet, such as walking the dog, you need to ensure that it is done," said Melissa Bain, an assistant professor at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to acquiring a pet, you should check your kids for obedience. If he or she can understand and follow basic instructions, they have a better chance of keeping the new pet safe and well fed. Another trait to look for is gentleness. Your child should have control of the force she uses to touch the animal, lest she risks hurting it. Additionally, they should have a sense of responsibility so that they are able to feed and take care of the new pet, even in your absence.

Matching With The Perfect Pet 

While finding the right pet, Bain advises being realistic about both the child and the pet. For instance, an overly active kid should be supervised closely more than one who is calm. She also added that the most difficult combination is an active child and a nervous pet. When it comes to the new pets, the most common problems as observed by veterinarians are aggression and adaptation to the new environment. As such, you should conduct sufficient research on the breed while comparing its traits against your family's lifestyle and requirements. Particularly, dogs and cats should be introduced and socialized using reinforcement techniques if necessary. To achieve good results in establishing a smooth relationship, you can opt for professional pet obedience training. 

A first pet is an exciting but demanding challenge for your young son or daughter. While looking for one, remember that there is a big chance that he or she has never been responsible for something as involving and delicate. This means that you should monitor the whole process of acquisition from the word go. While at it, don't forget to consult a pet store or veterinary for advice on how to feed, clean and play with the new pet!   


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Back To Basics With Hand-Dyed Textiles [Review]

Well hello, hello! Happy New Year! I am happy to get started after a much-needed break over the holidays. I hope you had an amazing holiday too!

Getting started again is always hard because I do get a little bit rusty with the whole blogging thing, which is why it's risky to take a break. Some bloggers I know have taken a break, fully intending to return, but sadly, never do. But not this gal, because a gal needs to blog!

I can't count how many times I've been in the midst of an activity that I'm doing and think about how I'd love to share it with my readers! 

Today I'd like to share with you an Etsy Shop that makes the cutest hand-tied and dyed products.  Using natural dyes and non-treated fabric, the shop is called Practical And Pretty!

The dyes are used with the following natural substances:
  • Light pink is made with avocado pits and skins
  • Hot pink is made with dried cochineal
  • Yellow is made with turmeric
  • Blue is made with indigo
  • Purple made with logwood extract
I gave some tea towels as gifts to a new mom and they were really much appreciated! The towels are quite large and I  think she could use them as swaddle wraps, burp cloths, or regular towels. 

Below is a cute baby set of a Swaddle and Onesi using indigo!
This beautiful  throw was dyed with avocado pits. It's a sort of grayish pink that is hard to duplicate! Who knew you could find a use for the pits of avocados? 

Follow Practical and Pretty on  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Fun To Fantastic $100 Del Sol Cash #Giveaway

This site receives product, payment, and/or samples for review purposes. Affiliate and non-affiliate links are used for reference purposes. Thanks so much for your support of A GAL NEEDS...
Del Sol is a company that makes you smile. It's a gift that makes you light up and say, "That made my day!" Using exclusive color-changing technology, Del Sol puts their special brand of fun into everything they make. They make something that would normally be fun into something fantastic! 

For instance, with their color-changing clothing--They have everything from teeshirts to hoodies! They are made with the finest fabrics available and they guarantee that their clothing will change colors in the sun for the life of the fabric! Below, I'm loving my Del Sol Flamingo tee and lifestyle sunnies!

Something that is really exciting to hear is that they have just rolled out some new lines---perfect for Christmas gift-giving!

Their new skateboards are the bomb! They change colors beautifully and will be the talk of the neighborhood!

 And what a great idea to put color-change technology into charm bracelets! With 25 charms to choose from, it will be easy to find something that is individual to you!  

One of my personal favorites are the Solize Sunglasses in lifestyle, aviator, and fashion styles. The guarantee is that if your sunglasses are damaged or lost, you are guaranteed a free replacement pair! They are UVA/UVB and polarized! So awesome!

Check out their website and see what other great gift ideas and bargain prices that are available! You'll love it! 

I'm excited to be able to partner with Del Sol to give someone $100 Del Sol Cash. It will be awarded with an exclusive discount code to spend for whatever you would like at Del Sol! It would make a great Christmas present and there would still be enough for you as well! Enter below in the Rafflecopter form below. Open to U.S. and Canada, Ends November 20th at 11:59 MST See below for full disclosure. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 21 or older to participate. Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 11/20/18.  1 entrant per household please and must be a resident of U.S. or Canada. Must respond within 48 hours. Entrants with invalid entries will be disqualified. Sponsor, Del Sol, is responsible for delivery of prize. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fear Of Failure Causes Anxiety + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This past September was National Suicide Prevention Month. I, like too many others, have had personal experiences where suicide has touched me personally, or has been way too close for comfort. 

But I've had far more experiences where, although no suicide was involved, the impact of stress and anxiety have affected lives and could easily have ended in suicide. These are stories about teen anxiety that need to be told in the hopes that we can start to recognize and prevent what could happen later on.

In my 9 years of working within the school system, I have been close enough to teens to see what motivates them. I have followed some of their lives and have somewhat of a sense of what can make a teen feel pressure, anxiety, worry, and the need to fight or take flight! I will be sharing one story now and more later about some things that definitely make a teenager anxious and feel stress. Maybe if we can recognize some of these situations, we can be of help!

Fear Of Failure
I knew A. when she came to our unit fresh from a detention center.  She was smart, but had decided that school was not the way she would be successful....

Something that filled her with anxiety and dread was math. At some point along the way, someone or something had convinced her that she couldn't understand or do it. At all. In anticipation of math, she would begin to hyperventilate and would start to panic. The only way she could get through a math lesson was if she had someone right there helping her through ALL the problems, which doesn't happen often in a busy classroom. More often than not she would refuse to work, throw her materials, and leave the room with angry words hurled at whoever happened to be around. Gradually, she was able to get help and encouragement. She learned to retain some of the things she was being taught and she became more confident, thus feeling less stress when she was asked to do math problems on the board or at her desk. She got the assistance she needed that year because she made it crystal clear about how she felt about math and, luckily, there was someone available who was willing to work with her. 

Not all kids are able to verbalize their fear and trepidation when they run into academic hurdles. Sometimes they will take the fail, rather than turn attention on themselves and their problems. Unlike A. they are not squeaky wheels that will get the grease!
 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)   

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sun Therapy รก la Del Sol {Review}

This summer has been crazy! We have had more wildfires than I remember in recent history! The winds have been high and the smoky air has been bad! It has also been the driest September on record here in Utah. There is rain in the forecast and I can't say I'm disappointed! 

But I'm sure there will be sunny days again soon. One reason I love a sunny day is because of fun color-changing looks from Del Sol. The sun makes a perfectly fun look turn into something fantastic! It doesn't matter whether you're in the dead of winter in Wyoming or in the heart of the tropics in St. Tropez, as long as the sun is strong enough to also make a shadow, it's strong enough to turn Del Sol products into an amazing array of color in less than 60 seconds! 
Just being in the sun for 20 minutes, enjoying the feeling of being nourished and warmed is so therapeutic. Scientific studies show that 20 minutes of good sunlight is great for your health!
This site accepts product samples for review purposes. Affiliate and non-affiliate links are used for your reference. Thanks so much for your support of this site!

Do you know someone who might need a little bit of cheering up? Maybe a good dose of sunshine is what they need! I'd love to hear about someone you know who needs encouragement to come out of the artificial light one finds indoors to the nourishing light of the sun! It could make the difference between crippling depression and being fully functional and happy! In other words, Del Sol would make a great gift! The gift could be as simple as a nail polish, starting at $10.00 to the most awesome sunnies ever--Solize Sunglasses!

The new looks are so much fun this year! Check out the new colors of nail polish this season!

And look at me enjoying my Solize Sunnies called "Summer's Gone"  and my Watercolor Flamingo Tee! This was taken more towards the evening, but the colors still came on strong! 
I've got to tell you about the most awesome guarantee for a pair of sunglasses that I know of. It doesn't matter what happened to your Solize sunglasses. If you lose them or break them, you are guaranteed to get another pair. Simply copy the guarantee code, select a new pair, pay for
shipping/handling and you'll receive your new sunnies in the mail. It's that easy! It's quite a guarantee for polarized, stylish and glare-resistant shades.
One of the most popular items at Del Sol is the nail lacquer. It is the most colorful, stylish, and long-lasting polish anywhere. The secret is to apply a primer under and a top coat over the color. You will have a manicure that will last for days! Each bottle of color is $10.00, which is quite a good deal because it is actually 2 colors!

One more thing! While supplies last, you will receive a free trick or treat bag that changes color with a $10 order! And if you want 35% discount on your entire order, use this link to shop!  I think you'll agree that Del Sol really does turn fun into fantastic!!


Monday, September 24, 2018

#Utah Kids' Club Ultimate Halloween Packages

I'm passing this info along to my Utah readers! I'm always appreciative of organizations that compile huge discounts to many different fun places and offer them for one low price! So much food & fun packed into one reasonable price!
This post is in partnership with Utah Kids Club
The Utah Kids Club has been going strong for over 10 years now. For the past 3 years they have offered families a Halloween Package that is such a great discount that it has completely sold out! This year will be no different, as they are offering this Ultimate Halloween Package to be used for a full 30 days to any one of the venues named here, and much more! They have only 2000 of these and once they are gone, they're gone!

·         1 FREE Ticket to Castle of Chaos, Haunted House! ($25.00 value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Fear Factory Vip Ticket ($35.00 Value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Dead City Haunted House (Utah's Newest Haunt $25.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to SLC and Ogden Ghost Tours ($20.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Fall Harvest at Cross E Ranch ($11.95 value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Tracy Aviary ($11.95)
·         1 FREE Ticket for Clas Ropes Halloween River Cruise ($8.00 value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Bricks and Minifigs Halloween Trick-0-Treat Derby ($5.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket Ticket to Little Haunts at This is the Place, Heritage Park (12.95)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Obstacle Warrior Kids ($12.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Dartside ($10.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Pinners ($8.00)

PLUS Major Halloween Discounts with your Utah Kids Club Membership card:

·         $13.00 Off Frightmares at Lagoon
·         30% Pumpkin Nights
·         50% Off Ogden Dinosaur Park, Carnivore Carnival
·         40% Off tickets to Grimm Ghost Tours!
·         40% Off Hidden Chambers, Escape Rooms
·         40% Off Castle Of Chaos Murder Mystery
·         40% Off Castle of Chaos Escape Rooms
·         40% Off Escape Key, Escape Rooms
·         50% Off Haunted Train Shoppe
·         55% Off Trick-0-Tre
·         $3.00 Off Each Cornbelly's Ticket
·         $2.00 Off Hee Haw Farms
·         $2.00 Off Each Little Haunts Ticket
·         $5.00 Off Each Sleepy Hollow Ticket
·         $2.00 Off Each Provo Corn Maze

AND Even More Halloween Discounts

Click here to register and save $10.00! Oh, and Happy Halloween!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Both Beauty And Terror + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Many Americans are living with the perspective that the glass is either half empty or half full. I'm not sure who gave this visual about how to look at life, but it's a classic U.S. philosophy. Of course, it teaches us that we should look at life positively rather than negatively. And it really is a great way to view life...in general. When you're in the midst, though, of something earth-shaking, life- changing, and extremely hard to go through, I'm not sure that the half-full glass visual is what we're going to automatically go to for inspiration, because sometimes life just sucks!

There's no way to sugar coat it, no way to view it for anything than what it is.  As humans we are conditioned to avoid pain and suffering at all costs. But a quick check of the headlines shows that we can't avoid it. Poverty, illness, addiction, corruption, hatred, natural and man made disasters surround us on all sides.

Image - Jana Herzogova
It is easy to look at that, become fearful, and not be willing to take any kind of risks for fear that something bad will happen to you! But what kind of life would that be? 

My choice has always been to live life, have experiences, and take the random consequences of my own actions. Sometimes my risks turned out well and I had amazing and fulfilling adventures. Other times, my choices turned out to be not-so-great and I had to live through the consequences. 

For example, no one forced me to go with a group of experienced 4-wheel riders on my first-ever ride on an ATV. I had lived through enough adventure to know that a possibly really fun time was in store. Unfortunately for me, that ride turned out to be short-lived, as I crashed into a sand mound at a higher speed than what I obviously was able to successfully maneuver. My helmet, which was incorrectly fastened onto my head in the first place, flew off. My head was propelled forward, and my face hit the metal steering column at the same speed I had been initially traveling, about 50 mph, Nose shattered, blood spurting, and me screaming in pain was the result. 

My nose was shattered in multiple places, the skin totally peeled off the face, and unsightly, jagged cuts continued down to just above my mouth. 

I thought I was going to be a freak show for the rest of my life. But time has a way of healing, and most of the time no one even has a clue of the trauma my face went through 10 years ago. 

Granted, I've never gotten back onto a 4-wheeler again, which is probably a weakness on my part, but at least I can say that I've had the experience. 

I feel like I learned so much from just that one experience. I can take that with me and be able to empathize with many people who have gone through the same thing or even worse than what I went through. And I definitely have a sense of gratitude for a brain that wasn't damaged, a face that almost completely recovered, and a nose that is just a tad shorter than what it used to be! Not to mention, greater faith in the power of prayer and giving up control to God and letting Him decide what I might be able to learn through all of this. 

What have you decided to experience, regardless of the outcome and what did you learn as a result? 
Add caption
 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize(Affiliate links welcome)