Minnesota’s Bloggers Conference 2013 Recap

I always enjoy going to the MN bloggers conference! It’s full of Minnesota nice people, great information, and inspiration galore. This year, I was lucky enough to be able to speak on a panel about Blogging Your Passion. My other panelists Apartment Wife’s, Jennifer Prod and Being Zhenya’s, Zhenya Hutson were fan-freaking-tastic. I loved hearing how we all find passion and turn it into amazing content (well at least they do).

Key takeaways after the photos…

stephen at mn blog con 13

paul at mn blog con 13

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Keynote@witanddelight @katenthekitchen @edkohler @mnheadhunter

  • You need to have a voice of your own and to remember that this [your blog] is your space.
  • Make sure that voice is consistent across all of your channels, including social media.
  • Wit + Delight stated, “All of my content has to exemplify the type of clients I want.”
  • People search Minnesota not MN…which is relevant because keyword research and optimization are necessary.
  • Look at your old content and consider retitling or repurposing it with edits to make it relevant for the now.
  • Tools: Zeit (News Aggregate App), Psych Meter

Google Analytics for Bloggers – @jeffsauer
Jeff Sauer’s Google Analytics presentation was fantastic. It helped me finally bring together all the little snippets of Google Analytics I had already known.

  • Tools: Yoast Google Analytics WordPress Plugin – A MUST for both analytics and SEO.
  • Bounce vs. Exit Rates
    • Bounce rate: a person came to this page and left from this page
    • Exit rate: an exit occurred on this page
  • Block yourself from Google Analytics – so as to not count your traffic.
    • Find your IP address (whatismyip.com) > admin > filters > new > predefine > exclude > IP address
    • Yoast plugin allows you to block and ignore users
  • Set goals for your website macro goals and attribute those goals to money (even if they are just $1).
    • Macro Goals: sales, adsense
    • Micro Goals: Visitors, Pageviews, Time on Site
  • Learn WTF webmaster tools are.
  • Social reports should be utilized.
  • Tool: Social Data Club + AddThis
  • Presentation Slides: bit.ly/ga-bloggers

A Non-Designers Guide to WordPress – @myklroventine

  • Find what inspires you and use that to help your design asthetic
  • Colors – choose a bold color – but just one to use on your blog
  • Monochromatic tones are great too
  • Use the customize tool if your theme allows it
  • Wp Google Fonts Plugin
  • Tool: Compfight.com (free or $1 stock photos)
  • Simple hooks plugin – allows you to change things around in WordPress
  • There are so many free themes out there…make sure that the one you pick is able to meet your design and blog standard.

I had such a great time even though I had to leave early. Thanks to the planning team and amazing sponsors for allowing us to spend the day nerding out over blogging!

Moodboard: Natural Awakenings

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As I sit here watching the Finn episode of Glee, I am reminded how short life is. It’s crazy you know. We don’t really think to much in our day to day lives what could happen to us tomorrow. It really makes me wonder if I have left a positive experience with the people I meet, like Cory. Hopefully, I will be able to make a lasting impression just 1/8 of what he did. What an amazing young man!

Anyways, had to get that out there! Here is a moodboard for your enjoyment and inspiration. It’s focus: nautral colors. I love them. That candle and exposed beams…they make me smile! I hope you enjoy it!

What will you do today to make a difference? How can you make someone smile?

5 Easy DIY Pop Culture Costumes 2013

Having troubles deciding what to be for Halloween? If you’re like me, you don’t even want to go to those Halloween stores, those costumes are too slutty (for lack of better word). I prefer to keep my Halloween costume costs down and usually opt for a DIY costume. Here are just 5 easy costumes for you to create in 2013!

What about you? What are you planning on being for Halloween?

Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Audrey Hepburn

If this year you are looking to turn back the clock, look no further than Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This elegant costume is quite easy to pull off.

You’ll need…

  • Black pencil dress
  • Chunk pearl necklace
  • Diamond earrings and tiara
  • Black gloves
  • Old fashion cigarette
  • Black flats

Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead

Daryl Dixon

Daryl is probably my favorite Walking Dead character. He is brave, smart, and easy on the eyes. This costume is uber relevant and works for most guys…as long as you can get your hands on a cross bow (which makes this costume). Make sure you keep that cross bow unloaded though, okay?

You’ll need…

  • Tank top (roll around in dirt to get that dirty look)
  • Jeans
  • Boots
  • Cross bow
  • A badass attitude

Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen Halloween Costume

She is the true queen, we all know it. Plus, she has dragons! This makes her my hero on Game of Thrones. Of course, you’ll need a good wig with some braids for this costume. Find yourself a goddess dress to wear or grab some fabric from your local store and start sewing as a goddess dress is pretty easy to make.

You’ll need…

  • Goddess dress
  • Arm bracelets
  • Goddess shoes
  • Blonde long wig
  • Dragon toy

Minecraft Creeper

Creeper Minecraft Costume

I have found an odd love for Minecraft. Not a typical gamer, I find the game awesome and full of endless opportunity. Creepers are a game “mob,” they find you and come close and blow up in front of you…sometimes causing you to die. This costume is so much fun because it doesn’t take much.

You’ll need…

  • Green cami or dress
  • Black leggings
  • Minecraft head – DIY or buy online
  • Black booties

Stacee Jaxx from Rock Of Ages

Stacee Jaxx Halloween Costume

This one is fun for the guys, you can walk around all night acting like a rock star! Yeah!! Honestly though, you’ll probably want to start doing those push-ups and crunches to get the Stacee Jaxx abs.

You’ll need…

  • Leather pants
  • Fur jacket (try Goodwill)
  • Sun glasses
  • Scarf
  • Belt buckle
  • Bandana
  • Fake Tattoos (unless you already have them)

I’m Addicted to Zillow {Plus Home Pin Roundup}

Breon and I have started looking at houses. I am so excited because it’s just fun looking at houses. Sure, I know that buying a house is probably a process which is stressful but I also know that I am having fun acting like I am on House Hunters. While I realize that we aren’t going to buying for a while (we just resigned our lease for the apartment), it’s a good time for us to start thinking about what we want, what we can afford, and where we want to live. B has even started a spreadsheet, so you know it’s on.

A few houses I like from my Saved Houses…


I loved the four car garages, the kitchen and living room. I didn’t like the location (right off of Highway 36), and the house feels really old.


I liked the location, the kitchen was open, and there is a big back yard. The house’s location doesn’t vibe well with B and the bathrooms are in need of updating.


Ohh.. I loved the location, size, kitchen, and overall feel of this one. The house, however, doesn’t have a garage or cable anywhere. We would have to put those things in…but i do love this one.

We have looked at maybe 7 and these were probably my favorite at the time…of course though, we probably won’t move on any of these. But it’s fun to start looking! Here are some of my favorite home pins on Pinterest! Gotta love the crazy amounts of inspiration on that site!

Dreaming…