#OctoberScopers and Navigating Periscope

I don’t generally jump on the new social media bandwagons very fast. As a matter of fact, I’m generally the one dragging myself onto the platform months later, attempting to figure out how it works while everyone else enjoys themselves freely.

BUT there’s a new thing everyone is flocking towards called Periscope, and for the first time, I don’t think I’m late to the party. I can also say, for the first time, I’m obsessed with some new, shiny, trendy thing because I’ve been obsessed with Periscope the past week or two.

What Exactly is Periscope?

Periscope is an interactive app where yourself or other users create live video that people can join in to watch while also commenting. The person creating the video can then respond to comments and interact with other users that way. Yes, there’s also a way to limit who can watch your videos–don’t worry!

If you don’t catch a video live, you can always watch the replay, which will be listed on your main screen (or by clicking the bottom, left button that looks like a television).

Users are also able to tap the screen, giving hearts during live video or replays. These hearts essentially equate to your popularity count (much like followers on Facebook or Twitter) on Periscope.

Videos are viewable for 24 hours if you allow them to be.

When you’re watching someone’s video, you can swipe right to view their profile and follow them. You can also swipe up to share their live broadcast via Twitter or Facebook.

Setting Up Periscope

I can’t say I’m an expert–yet–but I can tell you downloading and catching onto Periscope basics aren’t too difficult.

  1. Download the Periscope app.
  2. Follow the prompts, connect through Twitter and that will be your Periscope handle. (Twitter created Periscope).
  3. For this app, I highly suggest you allow the push notifications through. Never do I ever for any apps except my email and Facebook, but Periscope is a platform where you want to catch people live. You can only catch people live if you get a notification that someone you’re following is Periscope-ing live. It’s not super annoying like most push notifications–to me, it’s the equivalent of a text or Facebook notification.
  4. Follow people or brands you know and like. There’s a search friends button in the bottom right of the app that looks like three people from the shoulders up. It gives suggestions or allows you to search people you know.
  5. After that, all that’s left to do is catch people live or make a live video yourself.

#OctoberScopers

October Scopers is an awesome Periscope group that started last month (#SeptemberScopers). It creates a prompt each day for those involved to Periscope about, and everyone can share the love, watch each other and just have great time diving into Periscope and getting to know others.

For Those Participating

  • Include the #OctoberScopers hashtag in your title and share it on twitter. That’s how others participating can find you!
  • If you don’t follow prompts perfectly, we’ll all survive–it’s not a big deal.
  • Do your best to get to everyone and catch replays when you can!
  • Don’t be stingy with the hearts–because, who doesn’t like hearts?

To connect with everyone taking part in the challenge, we have created a Facebook group called Scoper Support. The group is set to private, but anyone can join! My Periscope handle is @HomemadeExp.

october scopers

 

10 Things No One Tells You About Post-Baby Body

10 Things No One Tells You

For those women who were blessed with super pregnancy genetics or able to stay in shape and maintain their glorious pre-baby body, my hat’s off to you, and I also have some built up anger towards you stored in the back of my brain that I blame for my inability to lose more weight. It’s okay though. It forces me to compensate in other areas, like writing and making lists.

And with that, here are 10 things no one thinks to share with you about post-baby body.

1. Getting dressed and using the restroom while you’re dressed—with the underwear and the spanks and the bra that’s a full body suit—will now be, at least, a 10 minute ordeal. And by ordeal, I mean the definition of ordeal: a painful or horrific experience.

2. People may tell you that every time they sneeze they pee a little and you may laugh, but what they really mean by that is your bladder has gone from let’s say the capacity of a dam to the capacity of two swinging doors at your local saloon.

3. If you thought periods were rough before, you may beg to experience the pre-birth ones again. Periods are just so much more generous in your post-baby body, with the blood and the bloating and the hanger. Really, you shouldn’t have, Aunt Flo. It’s too much.

4. The shopping and the mirrors and the clothing sizes, oh my! *Insert hysterically laughing and crying emoticon here*

5. Your post-baby body will likely react to summer like it’s the plague. Before it was a relaxing, happy, sunny time; now, it’s a sweaty, overheated, kids all around making noise, smelly, disgusting, headache of a mess.

6. It’s a very real possibility that you may go from never, ever considering plastic surgery to Google searching “tummy tuck” on your computer.

7. Your body will surprise you with how long it can run on no sleep and caffeine.

8. If you didn’t have it before, you will acquire super sonic hearing that allows you to hear or awake to any noise a child makes within a one-mile radius.

9. You may never willingly put on shorts or a swim suit again.

10. Who needs tattoos? You have tiger stripes—more commonly referred to as stretch marks—and they’re just as artistic … and permanent.

This all may seem a bit disheartening, but if you have children, you know, really, it’s not. They’re worth every grey hair and sleepless night, but sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and laugh about the changes and transitions we as women and life-providing vessels must endure. Still, I would rather turn into one big stretch mark than think of my life without children. Plus, when you find the right person to raise children with, it becomes obvious having a Victoria’s-Secret-model body is not what life’s all about.

Our physicality is never permanent, and it should never define us. Our influence, our character, and our family are what is truly important. Regardless of the size of your mom jeans, you’re still you, you’re still beautiful, and you can still enjoy a laugh on behalf of all mom bodies out there. Who knows? Maybe the ‘mom bod’ will become the new ‘dad bod’ trend sometime in the near future.

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10 Tips No One Tells You For Buying a House + Moving

10 Tips No One Tells You For Buying a House

Moving is hectic. Your life is packed up in boxes, and your mind is at full capacity. Remembering to prepare for every single thing becomes 10x more difficult, especially when no one shares all the little tips that could save you time and money while you’re buying a new house and trying to move. In honor of the life event you will eventually, are currently or already have embarked upon, here’s a list of 10 tips no one tells you for buying a new house and moving.

Call the utility companies–gas, electric, water–at least two weeks before your closing date and set them to change over to your name on the closing date. It’s something that, obviously, has to be done, but a lot of people don’t think about during the moving process. Also, a great time to schedule an appointment for your internet/cable company to come out and install.

Have your realtor communicate to the sellers/sellers’ agent that you’ve already set utilities to change over to your name, so they don’t have them shut off. Otherwise, the sellers may have them shut off and cost you an extra fee to turn them back on plus the possibly and hassle of not being able to get them on the day you take possession of the house. For example, our electricity company allowed us to set a date to change possession but would only allow the current owner of the house to turn off or on the electricity, meaning if the sellers had it turned off, we would have to wait until after we signed on our closing date to have it turned back on–which could easily be too late to get them turned on for the day we moved in.

If you’re getting any new furniture or appliances and want to order them beforehand, don’t forget to measure the spaces. If you don’t live close, aren’t able to do a walk through or get back into the house far enough in advance, just have your realtor shoot the sellers/sellers’ agent an email to ask for measurements.

Go online to the USPS website and have your mail set to forward to your new address. It’s quick and it’s simple. Just do it while you’re thinking about it instead of risking losing some valuable piece of mail … or those awesome bills!

Update the address on any subscriptions, accounts, bills, credit cards, etc. Any place or account you can think of to call or hop online and update your address, do that, too. It’s also a good opportunity to get online and cancel some accounts or subscriptions you don’t really care to receive anymore.

Remember that everything you’re hearing is generally second or thirdhand. People’s immediate reaction is to get mad at the sellers or the buyers for whatever miscommunication or mishap is occurring, but remember the actual buyer(s) and seller(s) almost never communicate directly during the home buying process. So, everything that’s happening is going through one or two other parties–whether that be the realtors, the bank, a repair company (for inspection items) and so on and so on–before it actually gets back to you.

Do some research on the home and the sellers before you finalize a contract. That way you can prepare yourself ahead of time if you’re getting into any weird or obscure situation. Like, I hate to be THAT person, but a sexual predator lives next door or the house has some weird history. There are more than enough interesting situations you could possibly walk into blind if you don’t do a little research first. If you’re social enough or just end up running into a neighbor, it’s a good idea to ask them about the neighborhood, house and sellers, too.

Wear closed-toe shoes the ENTIRE time you’re packing, unpacking and/or living in a box-filled zone. Seriously, don’t say I didn’t warn you. When we moved, I was barefoot or in flip flops 99% of the time and probably got my feet/toes smashed at least five times every hour before I gave in and started sporting tennies on the reg.

Don’t make plans for the first week or two after you’ve moved. Especially if you’re moving to an area with some friends or family, and they want to hang out as soon as you’re back; trust me, do not agree to anything yet! You’ll either end up feeling obligated to go and exhausted the whole time while your unpacked boxes are sitting at home, or you’ll end up having to back out and be the bad guy.

Change the locks. This may seem like a no-brainer, but as long as you have the keys to the house, it’s easy to put it off or not even think about it. Maybe it’s the mother in me, but not knowing who else may have a key to my house via the previous owners is very unsettling. There’s actually a simple option available now: a re-keying kit. Instead of having to purchase new locks for every door or paying someone to come out and replace your locks, it’s a much more efficient, cost effective, simpler option.

5 Healthy Snack Time Favorites

5 Healthy Snack Time Favorites

The 1-year-old absolutely loving some all-natural Ruby Rocket’s, which I may add completely melted on my watch and I had to refreeze … so this pop looks NOTHING like the original shape! There is a glorious photo below, however, as well! 

With kids, I think it’s a given: there will be snacking. As much as I–as an adult–would love to be a breakfast, lunch and dinner type of gal, it’s just not really plausible when you’re on the go, working and/or constantly feeding little ones throughout the day.

The positive thing is that snacking is good fuel and it doesn’t have to mean eating unhealthy. Personally, when I think of snack, I think of the want to indulge in something like chips or sweets, but fortunately, there are ways to still feel like you’re indulging in a snack and be fueling your body in a healthy way at the same time.

Here are just a few “indulgent,” delicious and healthy snacks that I prefer for myself and little ones.

Terra Chips A much healthier version of chips made from slices of vegetables–sweet potato, parsnip, etc–and probably my favorite snack, even “chips,” hands down.

Ruby Rocket’s Veggie & Fruit Pops No added sugar is what, to me, makes this snack the absolute best. It’s all veggies and fruits. There are three kinds that I absolutely LOVE: Galaxy Green, Rock-it Red and Gravity Grape. A cool, refreshing treat on a hot day.

Ruby Rockets

Delicious and healthy Ruby Rocket’s pops. Photo Courtesy of Ruby Rocket’s!

Rice crackersOrganic Valley Raw Milk Cheese  Rice crackers and cheese are my favorite go-to for a bedtime snack if I just ate too early or stayed up too late and can’t shake the ‘need a snack’ thought as I’m tossing and turning. Protein is proven to be a helpful aid to sleep and raw milk cheese is that protein for me before bed if I need something to snack on.

Dark chocolate super bites These are just heavenly goodness. Anytime I’m craving sweets or chocolate in general, I feel more than comfortable whipping these up and enjoying. These super bites often double as dessert, as well. and are probably one of my kids’ absolute favorite.

dark-chocolate-detox-bites-8

Photo courtesy of The View from Great Island

Edit: I had to add a fifth favorite that had completely slipped my mind until so many commented and mentioned it!

Hummus or Guacamole Amazing and healthy. I try to do these dips with veggies like carrots, celery and cucumbers, primarily, but hummus is also SO good with naan and guacamole with homemade tortilla chips.

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Disclosure: I received one of the products mentioned above for free with the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and that I consistently use or believe in, personally.

8 Blogging Gurus That Will Help You Become An Expert

8 blogging gurus

When I first entered into the blogging world, I was like an innocent doe–wide-eyed and bushy-tailed–with very little idea of what the heck I was doing. I just wanted to write stuff people could relate to and gain a following I could interact with just from being awesome.

About three years later, I realized I wanted to become seriously serious about this whole blogging thing because I enjoy it, and although it’s a lot of work, it’s fulfilling to me. So, I finally purchased my domain name [homemadeexperience.com] and amateurly continued stumbling along.

Turns out, blogging isn’t just throwing words onto a screen and hitting publish. It’s actually very intricate and time consuming if you want to do it right. Aside from the actual writing, I have an email account I spend a good portion of my day sifting through, a calendar and apps I use to organize and schedule posts and reviews, subpar photography skills that must be utilized for each post’s photos and just enough background in design and html to scrape by with my branding and blog layout. Throw in promoting your blog daily and keeping up on just about every social media platform in existence and you just might have a full-time job … no, seriously, people really make a substantial full-time job out of blogging.

So, in order to sharpen my professional edge and climb up to the next level, I believe it’s important to build a solid platform by researching and learning from those who have been and are currently successful in the areas I strive to be, which in this instance is blogging professionally.

By creating that knowledgable platform and continuing to devour tips and tricks from those around me who are successful, it allows me the opportunity to take my creativity, ideas and personal uniqueness, confidently, to the next level.

With that in mind, here are 8 blogging gurus whom I admire and am constantly striving to learn from:

Chic Geek Academy A great resource for taking the basics that every brand and blog needs and making them as powerful and useful for your blog as possible. For those who are trying to become successful in the blogging world, or simply just level up in some areas, Dre offers some great tutorials and simple step-by-step advice. She’s also pointed me in the direction of several of my other blogging gurus.

Rebekah Radice The all-encompassing social media guru. Rebekah offers tips and tricks on how to navigate and market using the major social media platforms, engagement, visual content and various other clever tricks.

Peg Fitzpatrick Another great social media expert. Peg, however, is primarily geared towards marketing and appearance, which is also insanely important and helpful. She gives GREAT tips and very specific step-by-step advice on branding your stuff for social media with some great techniques that can easily step-up your blog game.

Anna C. Bennett | White Glove Social Media Your absolute go-to for becoming a Pinterest queen, or king. Anna gives great step-by-step guides on how to market yourself on Pinterest and use Pinterest to better your business, image and following. She has an awesome Pinterest marketing video and online course, and really, if there’s absolutely anything you can think of that’s Pinterest related–and probably 100 other things you haven’t thought of–Anna covers it. Great resource to strengthen your blog on that social media platform.

Regina Anaejionu | By Regina Regina offers awesome advice and tools on how to blog efficiently. Whether that means utilizing your blog budget to its fullest, gaining paying clients or simply how to write, her blog and published works are a great go-to. She offers superb advice on how to be creative and organized, along with great worksheets and resources to do so.

Elle & Company A seriously amazing resource all around. Elle & Co. offers an entire library of worksheets, files and templates, archives with over 100 tutorials, tips and how-tos, e-courses and weekly posts on general blogging, professionalism and design. Very organized and easy to find exactly what you’re looking for to help boost your skills or organize yourself.

Pauline Cabrera | Twelveskip Pauline is all about strategy, numbers and getting noticed based on your technical and branding abilities. She specializes on how to present your blog/yourself, website and graphic design, website review, website marketing and content marketing. Pauline also gives great advice on how to generate more traffic, plan ahead and several of the other little tips that make blogging easier and more efficient.

Copyblogger Founded by Brian Clark, Copyblogger covers the tech-y tech side of blogging, because it truly does make a difference. The information this site provides–that a lot of others don’t– is primarily over SEO, email marketing, keyword research, landing pages, etc. I’m sure there are several successful bloggers that aren’t huge into the tech side of their websites but knowing more about the technical aspects of blogging can really be the cherry on top and the thing that puts your blog one step ahead.

Rosemary-Mint Latte

My newest, and currently favorite, latte invention is a rosemary-mint latte. The ingredients are simple, probably already in your home and very inexpensive if they’re not. The rosemary-mint syrup is quick to make and will last a solid week or two (depending on how addicted to coffee you are).

Below is a photo of everything you’ll need + whatever “creamer” you use–whether that be skim milk, whole milk, coconut milk, packaged creamer, soy, whatever. I omitted that from the photo since that’s generally very specific to whoever’s making the latte!

rosemary-mint latte

 

Ingredients for Latte

2-3 ice cubes for iced latte
1/2 cup of coffee
1/4 cup of rosemary-mint syrup [ingredients/directions for syrup below]
Spritz of milk/creamer–optional
Coffee mug

Directions

  • Grab your mug and throw in the ice cubes if you’re making an iced latte
  • Pour the coffee and rosemary-mint syrup, and mix
  • Add spritz of milk (creamer)

Ingredients for Rosemary-Mint Syrup

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of mint
Mason jar–or sealable container–to store excess

Directions

  • Mix sugar and water in a pan over medium-heat until sugar begins to dissolve
  • Throw in rosemary and mint and stir for approximately one minute
  • Pour into a mason jar to save for continued use

 

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5 Things That Are (Mommy Needs A) Break-ing Mommy

Breaking Habits

Throughout the week, I find the words “mommy needs a break” popping into my head–oh–about every hour. And I often turn to the same comforts, vices, what have you, when I do find the opportunity to take a break.

On one hand, I think what mommy really needs is a break from my breaks, because the things I’m turning to really aren’t that beneficial in the long run.

On the other hand, I know and often sometimes do many of the things I need to be ultimately, big-picture happier and healthier, but I also just want my breaks to be legitimate, mindless, indulgent breaks.

In the words of One Republic, “Every thing that kills me makes me feel alive.” And here are the 5 major things that are breaking mommy.

Staying up late. Lately, I’ve seen a quote circulating around Facebook that reads, “I’m so tired but I’ll probably be awake until 3 a.m. for no reason,” and I couldn’t relate more. Every morning I’d beat myself over the head for staying up so late if I wasn’t so exhausted, and every morning I swear tonight will be the night I go to bed early. Yet, every night 1 a.m. rolls around, and there I am, wide awake, doing absolutely nothing.

Drinking caffeine. Hello coffee, goodbye control. As much as I love my coffee, I must admit it’s become a vicious cycle that leaves me in dire need of more energy and leads me to adding another cup to my daily regimen. I feel like I can conquer the world … until I need another cup of coffee. I think I also just figured out why I stay up until 3 a.m. “for no reason.”

Drinking alcohol. And if I’m being honest with myself: yes, that still includes red wine. It shouldn’t because the doctor prescribes some people a glass of red wine before bed, but in reality, that was not a prescription I received, and even so, that glass shouldn’t equal half the wine bottle. It does counteract the caffeine though, so cheers!

Being a foodie. That’s actually FOODie, with a capital F-O-O-D. I love eating, making and trying all kinds of food. It’s what I do when I’m bored. It’s what I do when I’m celebrating. It’s what I do when I’m with family. It’s what I do when I’m PMSing. And least importantly, it’s what I do when I’m hungry. I swear, I’m going to eat healthy starting tomorrow…

Keeping up with the Kardashians. No, I don’t actually keep up with the Kardashians [insert overrated, cliché, judgmental, disgusted noise here]. I do, however, love keeping up with the latest gossip, news(feeds) and of course, all of my favorite t.v. shows. Does all of it really matter? No. Does it take precious time away from all the other things I could be doing i.e. productiveness and ability to change the world and better myself as a human being? Yes. But the next episode starts in 15 seconds and the remote is just so far away. I’ll stop tomorrow.

 

 

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