Sunday, 30 November 2014

Win $125 Minted Credit

Minted is a website full of designers that make custom made stationary. Since there are numerous designers on the site there is no shortage of beautiful design work that you can get for your wedding invitations, holiday cardspersonalized artwork and so much more.

Mariam Naficy started Minted in 2007. She developed a passion for art after travelling the world and living in many different countries.She started Minted to bring you creative talent from all around the wold - helping to bring you high quality custom art pieces, and help great artists sell their work.

At Minted, designers submit work and it's voted on - then the best designs are open for you guys to pick them out and customize as you wish.

You can win $125 dollars in credit to spend in the online store on any product of your choice. Since it's the holidays you should definitely check out their line of holiday cards and artwork. Minted's new line of products are a brilliant way to interject family memories into gifts and cards this year.

Now you don't have to worry if someone's already gotten the same gift or card as you, as it's possible to customize any gift by adding family pictures, or specialized designs.

You get to choose everything from the size and colors of your prints and cards, to the photographs you include and the paper your cards are printed on.

You get to pick and choose everything for a custom experience based on your preferences and price ranges, with tons of extras like free recipient addressing for cards, AND the size and color of a frame for your prints if you want one.

Just in time to make Christmas special for one of you readers, Minted and I have teamed up to bring you $125 dollars in credit to their store, and I've thrown in a month of free ad space on this site. You can enter below.

The giveaway will run between today (30th November) and the winner will be announced on the 15th of December 2014.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Shepherd's Pie

Linking up with Five on Friday, Oh Hey Friday, Foodie Friday & Pretty Pintastic Party

I wasn't such a huge fan of Shepherd's Pie until I made it myself. This is the family recipe for it , it should be able to serve 6 medium size portions of  perfect, filling comfort food.

I hope you enjoy these 5 easy steps to a delicious meal , and if you make it - remember to take a picture of the final product unlike me, 'cause I forgot!!

Here's what you'll need;

  • 1/2 lb mince
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 2lbs potatoes
  • gravy browning
  • black pepper ( to taste )
  • 1/2 a stock cube
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon italian herbs
  • 3 oz of cheeze
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
  1. Chop your onions finely , then peel and chop your potatoes into large chunks. Put the potatoes to boil.While your potatoes are boiling, brown your mince.
  2. Once the mince is brown, add the onions and cover them with water. Leave it to simmer.Your potatoes should be ready to mash at this point. Mash them. When you're done. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius, or  350 Fahrenheit.
  3. Add half a stock cube, black pepper, a few drops of gravy browning, garlic & italian herbs. Replace pot lid and allow it to simmer gently.While your mince is simmering, grease the inside of the dish with a little butter on aluminum foil.Spread a layer of potato along the bottom of the dish, this will be your base.
  4. Layer the mince on top of the potato. Add another layer of potato on top of this. Grate cheese and put a layer of cheese on top of the potato.
  5. Cover this with cheese and put it in the oven for about 30 mins or until golden brown.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

How to Make Money Online

Whether you're a stay at home mom looking to make more money, or a student trying to pay your way through college, looking into working from home is definitely worthwhile. Here are 7 simple ways that you can make more cash today!

Design services:
If you are good with Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator or any other design program, you can design logos and images for people who are willing to pay you , right from your couch. The possibilities are endless, since you could make templates, printables, blog buttons, logos and much more, with little overhead costs. You don't even necessarily need to know code to design, which is a common misconception.

Simple Coding: 

Along with design services you can offer coding, if you understand how to code. There are many sites online where you can learn to code for free and you can practice on your own sites. Codecademy is one of the best.

Inbox Dollars, QMEE, Bing Search, Opinion Outpost:
While many of these sites are limited to people who live in the states, they are a viable source of income for those who qualify. You can earn cash from taking surveys and searching online. It's fairly easy money and really adds up over time - although it shouldn't be your only source of income.

Fiverr, oDesk, eLance & Amazon Mechanical Turks:
There are plenty of marketplace websites that are easy to use to help get your freelance career started. I already wrote a Guide to Fiverr that you can check out. The great thing about these websites is that you can do a great variety of tasks on there. Everything from transcription, VA services, web design and so much more.

Blog Sponsorship:
We all know that it's possible to make good money off of sponsorship. Whether it is affiliate marketing ( where you're paid by clicks & purchases from links that you include in your blog), blog-to-blog ads, or business sponsored ads on your page. You can even write review posts and do sponsored tweets. There is definitely potential to make enough to live on over time.

Writing Freelance Articles:
You can find freelance writing gigs that pay anywhere from $5 to $100+ all over the net. There are numerous job boards and freelance writing sites that you can subscribe to, and then simply choose which articles you're qualified to write.

Start A Shop:
If you're more into doing things with your hands, you can start a shop that sells things like prints, journals, handmade clothes, decorations... anything you're good at. Etsy is a simple place to start and you can really make money from handmade businesses if you plan well.

Have you ever thought about working from home? Do you think it's a possibility for you now?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Grow Your Blog; Join Blog Love!

Recently I was made the admin of a blogging group, and I'd like to invite you to join us!

Even before being an admin, I was a member. Once I became a member of this group I saw the interaction on my page drastically increase and my social media accounts start to gain tons of followers.

Blog Love is a closed Facebook group where you can come and share your posts and get comments, shares, retweets and pins. Being a closed group means that you can only post if you've joined and been accepted - so click here to join.

Join and find an active community of women bloggers who you'll quickly come to know and love, whilst forming friendships.

Tired of writing posts that don't get comments? Add your links to our daily comment threads.

Written an awesome post and want retweets or re-pins? We have daily re-pinning and retweeting threads.

Blog Tribes are basically a group of women that are in your corner. They blog about the same niche as you and will encourage you on, sharing your posts, commenting and banding together. There are tons of different tribes so whatever you blog about you can find a tribe for it, or create a new one! Tribe Dares are weekly to bi-weekly. Molly from Redeeming the Day is in charge of them.

Also, don't miss this blogger opportunity - 

I'm planning a giveaway. I would love for y'all to participate! I'll be giving away a cash prize and some ad space. Each link is $5 each, or you can get 3 for $10, or 5 links for $20.  

If you're low on cash sign up to give a month or more  ad space - it's free!!Giving away 1 month of ad space will get you a free link!

The giveaway will be from December 15th until December 30th and Winners Will Be Announced on December 31st.

You can sign up by filling in the form below.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Bible Verses for Pregnancy, Labor & Your Baby

When I found out I was pregnant, it made me want to be a better person. I've always been Christian, but I really found myself praying a lot more during pregnancy than I had previously. Another thing I did was read Scriptures to ease my mind during pregnancy. 

Here are some of my favorites for Pregnancy, Labor, After Childbirth and Raising Children.


  • Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
  • Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart Galatians 6:9
  •  Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead! Peter 1:6
  •  Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God Job 37:14
  • Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.Isaiah 26:4

During Labor

  • Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And what you learned and received and heard and saw in me, do these things. And the God of peace will be with you.Psalm 63:6-8
  • The sovereign Lord is my source of strength. He gives me the agility of a deer; he enables me to negotiate the rugged terrain.Isaiah 59:1
  • A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. (John 16:21 )
  • The Pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming. Romans 8:18

After the birth:

  • “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there. (1 Samuel 1:27–28)

On Bringing a Child Into This World:

  • Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”  Mark 9:36–37
  • Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.Psalms 127:3-5
  • Every good and perfect gift was from above James 1:17

On Raising Children

  • Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire. Proverbs 29:17
  • Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
  • Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.Proverbs 22:6

On How You Wish Your Children to Grow:

  • And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. Luke 2:40
  • Father, teach my children “the secret of being content in any and every situation…through Him who gives them strength” Philippians 4:12-13
  • My children are blessed and will be mighty in the land.Psalm 112:2 
  • Father I pray that my child's mind is guarded by your peace Philippians 4:7
  • My children will fulfill God’s will and purpose for their lives Psalm 138:8 
  • My children are children in whom there is no blemish, but they are well favored. They are skillful in wisdom, cunning in knowledge, and understand science. Daniel 1:4 
  •  My children are not being conformed to this world’s system, but they are constantly being transformed by the renewing of their mind, that they might know what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for their lives.Romans 12:2
  •  My children will flee from all sexual immorality and impurity in thought, word or deed, and they will realize that their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.Corithians 6:18-19
I'll also be doing other posts like this including Prayers for your Baby, Prayers for Pregnancy, Bible Verses for Your Relationship and many others. 

If you want to read my posts on pregnancy & delivery they are here:
Labor & Delivery Story

what are your favorite verses?

Friday, 14 November 2014

End of Year Giveaway

Hi ladies! I'm planning a giveaway to celebrate my new blog design & domain, my birthday and the new year.I would love for y'all to participate! I'll be giving away a cash prize and some ad space. Each link is $5 each, or you can get 3 for $10, or 5 links for $20.  If you're low on cash sign up to give a month or more's ad space - it's free!!
If you would like to participate, just fill out the form in the below. I'll be accepting links until December 14th. I hope y'all participate! The total cash prize will depend on how many people participate.
The giveaway will run from the 15th to the 30th of December, with the winner being announced on my Birthday - the 31st since we could all use a little cash after being so extravagant after the holidays. 

1 link: $5
3 links: $10
5 links $20

Monday, 10 November 2014

Labor & Birth Story

at 6 months

I was adamant that this baby would come before my due date, so when my due date came and I still had no baby I was starting to get so frustrated. I had been getting contractions around every hour or so for the past 2 weeks and was officially over being pregnant.

I was uncomfortable on the night of the 22nd which was my due date. I kept feeling like I couldn't breathe, and that my stomach was really over-stretched, so I went for a walk. When I didn't feel any better I lay down and went to sleep at around 8 that night.

I woke up at 2 in the morning because I started getting contractions again. They were around 5 minutes apart but I wasn't in THAT much pain that I thought I needed to go to the hospital, so I just browsed the internet until it was time to get ready for that day. I had my antenatal clinic that day anyways so I was just going to go to that instead.

When I was getting ready, my water broke. Richard was so excited and freaking out asking me if I was okay. I was still bustling about tidying and getting things ready as well as making breakfast. My ride to the hospital arrived and I ended up not even eating the breakfast I'd spent so long making.

I got to the hospital and I was so sure that I wasn't in labor yet because it wasn't hurting that badly, I was just short of breath and feeling pressure in my lower back and all across my stomach. When I got to the labor ward it was change of shifts, so I had to wait an hour before even being seen - and Richard had to wait outside.

The nurse who checked me out said to me, " You know, since you've come in I haven't really seen you get any pains"
"Just because I'm not crying and pulling faces doesn't mean I'm not in pain, Nurse" I replied
"You're not in labor, if you were - you'd be in more pain"

She examined me and told me I was four centimetres dilated, and admitted me straight away.

They moved me to what they call 'First Stage', where there were a few other women in beds being monitored too - while we waited to dilate further. While I was in first stage they told my Mum and boyfriend that they could come in, one at a time and talk to me.

Since they were checking my blood pressure and monitoring the baby every 30 minutes it didn't leave much time for them to get to talk to me, since when the doctors were examining me they wouldn't let my family come see me.

My mom went home, and Richard went to get a bite to eat when they heard that now I was 3 centimeters instead of four centimeters dilated. Yep - I was actually going backward.

Since my waters had only been trickling out and not gushing - a Doctor came and broke my waters to speed up my labor. Then they told me to walk around - trust me... it's really not the nicest feeling.

Almost immediately after she broke my waters the contractions got worse. I would say about 7 on a pain scale, but it was manageable as they were about 7 minutes apart lasting for a minute the same as they had been for most of the day.

I asked for something for the pain, and they examined me again - told me I was 5 centimeters and gave me an injection in my IV line. I was warned that the injection wouldn't take away the pain of the contractions but make me drowsy and possibly speed up the labor.

At this point I hadn't had anything to eat in almost 24hrs and I was super tired, hungry and nauseous. Right after getting the injection I went to sleep.

I slept for maybe an hour and a half, and woke up at about 3pm. I  couldn't believe how much pain I was in so suddenly. I guess the nurses didn't believe me either, because it took them 20 minutes to come and check how dilated I was again.

By then, I was 8 centimeters dilated. I tried standing up and holding over by the side of my bed which was helping me bear through the contractions which were increasing in pain and getting a couple of minutes closer together. They told me I'm not allowed to stand and to go lay down.

I got so frustrated. How can they tell me to do something that makes it even more painful? Within 20 minutes I was literally writhing in pain in my bed and feeling this strong urge to push. I'd been told not to push before my body was ready so I was trying SO hard not to.

I yelled for the nurse and told her I really feel like I need to push so she checked me again. It was all systems go from there. I was fully dilated and they wheeled me to a private room immediately so I could deliver.

You could say that I started to freak out a little bit then. Neither my mom or Richard were there and at least one of them should have been there. The midwife was there telling me to push and I didn't want to have this baby without the father there to see his child being born.

A doctor asked me if there was anyone I'd like to call. I gave them my mom's number, but she wouldn't answer her phone and Richard had just gotten a new number the week before so I couldn't even remember it properly.

It just so happened that he had come back just in time and was in the waiting room when I sent a nurse out to look for him.

The labor went pretty quickly after that. He was in the room with me for about 15 minutes before our daughter was born. I got to name her and he cut the cord, then my mother took her away and dressed her.

Maya was born at 4.10 pm on the 23rd of September.