12 Favorite Blog Posts

12 Favorite Blog Posts

I recently celebrated 1 year of blogging here at Aduke Schulist, and while I sort of let the year slip by without doing as much as I wanted, I still marvel at the progress I made here. I am always so humbled that even 1 person finds interest in my writing, let alone all of you who faithfully read and comment – us bloggers live for comments – on Aduke Schulist.

In celebration of the past 12 months, I wanted to first share with you my 12 favorite blog posts from the past year.

12 Favorite Blog Posts by Aduke Schulist

1. Get Down Downtown 2016 – Outdoor Festival

One of my first posts on this new blog covered a yearly event called Get Down Downtown. Coincidentally that same event is coming up soon, so be on the lookout for this years coverage.
Get Down Downtown - Street Festival - Vendor Event 2016

2. Day Out at the Outlets of Little Rock

I enjoyed a girls day out with fellow blogging friend Tiffany while we shopped and learned about some of the great deals being offered by stores in the Outlets of Little Rock Shopping Mall (I still want those shoes! Why have I not bought them yet?!)

We had good food, good fun, and good memories. I can’t tell you how many times I have been back, but even the kids enjoy it.

Outlets of Little Rock

3. We are… ADOPTING! – Single Mom Adoption

We announced we are adopting. Since then, so much has changed, but not the desire to adopt. I have been putting off updating regarding the process, because there isn’t a whole lot to update at this time, but know that we are STILL planning on adopting! The time line has just been pushed back a bit while I hammer out some details.

4. Stand Still. Stay Strong. Have a VOICE.

It’s hard for me to stand up for myself and to speak my mind, but for 2017 I chose VOICE as my word of the year. With every decision I make, I am reminded of this word and what it means to me to have a say in my life.

I have noticed that I am a much stronger person because of this. I am not as easily intimidated. It has taken a lot of work, and is still a work in progress, but the progress is what’s important.

5. Fertility Awareness Method Explained and Tracking for Health

I gotta admit, I cringed myself when writing this post about the Fertility Awareness Method. Not because I don’t believe in it, but I was nervous of the reactions I would get. It still baffles me that some women are so ignorant about their own bodies. I was once one of them! Learning about my body and it’s functions has empowered me.

Ovulatory Cycle using Kindara for Fertility Awareness Method - Natural Birth Control

6. Mommy Med Spa Day – A Day Of Pampering and Pedicures

I joined Tiffany again for a day of pampering provided by the Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa, Arkansas’s first med spa. That is a day I would love to re-live. Everything about the Spa was so relaxing, and my pedicure lasted for weeks!

Getting My Pedicure On At Rejuvenation Clinic Day Spa in Little Rock

7. 5 Reasons I Have Body Hair

Things got a little hairy when I shared 5 Reasons I Have Body Hair.

Woman with Armpit Hair - Natural Body Hair

I was surprised at how supportive some of the comments were. I was really expecting to be bombarded with how gross it is.

8. Boy Scout Camp & Disabilities

Both of my boys are in Boy Scouts, and this Summer, they both attended their first week long Boy Scout camp. Because of Losh’s disabilities and his need for assistance, I had to attend with him.
Boy Scout Camp - Camp Rockefeller - 2017

We had so much fun. I had hesitations with going, but looking back, it was a blast. I even learned how to tie a few knots myself.

9. 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge

My love of reading was shared when I posted about the 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge. Because of it, I found a few new favorite authors. This year, I did not participate in a reading challenge.

10. Why Being A Single Parent Is Awesome

My kids mean everything to me, and while parenting them alone is a challenge, there is so much to love. I shared some of my favorite things in Why Being A Single Parent Is Awesome.

11. Before You Get 4-H Chickens

My desire to raise chickens for eggs was somewhat fulfilled last year when we raised our first flock of baby chicks.

4-h-chickens-walking-in-food

Spoiler: most of them died, and we ultimately didn’t get a single egg, but learned a lot and are patiently awaiting an egg from our second flock of chickens.

12. Hashimoto’s and Dietary Changes

Sharing my health journey began when I learned that I had Hashimoto’s and started taking medication to treat it. I posted about how I am making dietary changes to help keep this in check…

Thyroid Medication for Hashimoto's Levothyroxine

It’s hard y’all! I’m still struggling with removing gluten from my diet, but have drastically reduced my intake. I don’t notice any difference yet.

So, there you have it.. my 12 favorite posts from the last 12 months. I hope you took the time to view a few of these as you were making your way down the list. Tell me below in the comments…

Which one of these was your favorite?

How To Start A Blog

How To Start A Blog

I’ve been blogging since the early 2000’s. Since then, I’ve had many people ask me how to start a blog. Because blogging means so much to different people, it is hard to give a simple answer.

This post contains affiliate links.

If you have any intention of growing your blog into a business, or making money with it, then the answer is a little more complicated than simply signing up for an account on WordPress, Blogger, or one of the other many blogging platforms available these days.

If you want to stand out from the competition (and let’s be real, there are a LOT of blogs out there), then you want to make sure you do it right. These are the things I recommend you do if you are curious how to start a blog:

How To Start A Blog with Bluehost by Aduke Schulist

Choose A Niche

The first thing to decide is WHAT you want to blog about. This could be food, lifestyle, health, parenting, DIY, etc.  Make sure you are passionate about your subject. Keep in mind, general lifestyle blogs (like Aduke Schulist) can cover a lot of different topics, but should still be narrowed down to a few categories. Not everybody is interested in just you. They want to know what you can do for them. For the purpose of this blog, we are going to assume you want to blog about parenting.

Choose A Name

Now that you have decided what you want to blog about, the next step is choosing a name. Make sure the name you choose is available on every single social media platform. You don’t want to be NewMommy23 on Twitter and NewMommy532 on Instagram Because NewMommy has already been taken on those platform. The goal here is to be consistent.

Make sure the name reflects the content. Are you still going to be a New Mommy 2-3 years after starting your blog? Are you comfortable with sharing only content geared towards other new moms?

Purchase A Domain Name & Host

Once you have figured out your name, it’s time to build the foundation. This includes purchasing a domain name and securing the name on all social media platforms. Securing the name just involves creating a new account, or page on FaceBook, with your chosen name on each social media platform.

There is much debate whether the domain name and host should be with the same company. I’ve tried it both ways and really have no preference. You can purchase a new domain name as well as host your existing domain name with some companies like Bluehost. Bluehost offers hosting for as little as $3.95 per month and is who I use.
How To Start a Blog using Bluehost

Install WordPress

There are various ways to actually write your blog, but WordPress is the most common, supported, and easiest to use option. Thankfully, Bluehost has the ability to install WordPress – and keep it up to date – automatically when you install using your Bluehost account.

Start blogging

That’s it! It’s now time for the fun part: Blogging!

This is the moment you waited for. You have everything in place, WordPress has been installed, now you can blog until your heart is content.

To help me stay organized and keep a record of various things, I use the Epic Blog Planner.

Epic Blog Planner - Editorial Blogging Calendar

It’s an editorial calendar with so much information. It’s designed to help you figure out where your blog is going. You can find the Epic Blog Planner on Amazon.

What kind of blog would you start? Or, what kind of blog do you have now? 

How To Start a Blog using Bluehost

White County Fair – 4-H Poultry Chain 2017

White County Fair – 4-H Poultry Chain 2017

I’ve taken a break from KonMari-ing my house in order to do some fun and exciting things… like attend the local County Fair.

Around here, the County Fair is a big deal and has no age limit. Young and old all bring in their homemade goods, homegrown items, and animals to be shown and judged.

White County Fair - Poultry Chain - A 4-H Program

Poultry Chain

We participated in the fair as part of a 4-H program called the Poultry Chain.

Every spring, those 4-H members who sign up are given approximately 20 freshly hatched baby chicks. The participants raise these chickens and then take the best 3 out of the flock to the fair. They are judged, then sold in an auction. The proceeds from the auction go towards paying off the chickens. Whatever is left is split among the participants and awarded based on what ribbon they won. For example, all those who won first place ribbons will get X amount of dollars, while those who receive a second place with get slightly less.

Losh and his chickens

This is our second year doing the poultry chain, and this time both of my boys participated.

Due to restrictions where we live, we started out with 16 chicks instead of the 40 my kids were supposed to have. Unfortunately we had some deaths and when the county fair rolled around, we had 10 remaining.

Judging the Chickens

We picked our best 6 (3 each) and headed to the county fair.

Arkansas White County Fair 4-H Poultry Chain Chickens in Cages

The chickens are placed in cages alongside all the other participants and a judge looks at each chicken individually. They are mainly being judged on how big they are, the space between their breast bones and vent, and the size and color of their comb and wattle. Last year Kaia got a first place ribbon for his chickens. I was really surprised as it was our first time and I felt like we had no clue what we were doing.

This year, Kaia earned another blue ribbon, but Losh only got a red one.

Kaia and first place ribbon for chickens

I was really expecting them to both place second, because our chickens this year just didn’t seem very big, but I am glad it worked out the way it did because Kaia helped much more (including building the coop!) than Losh did.

County Fair Fun

After the auction, we walked around the fair checking out all the educational materials, items entered, and rides. One of my favorite things about the fair is seeing all the items that people have entered. I tell myself while viewing them that I should enter my own (and we did one year), but I never went back to pick up ribbons or anything.

Admiring artwork at the county fair - Arkansas White County

I love how the items are judged in order for more than one to win a first prize ribbon. So much time and dedication goes into some of these projects – like the quilts or giant pumpkins.

I can’t even grow a single pumpkin, let alone a GIANT one.

Can you imagine how many pumpkin pies that thing would make?

Giant Pumpkins at White County Fair

Unfortunately, we didn’t ride any rides or consume any delicious food (hello fried Oreos and fresh squeezed lemonade!) this night, but the fun we had made up for it.

What is your favorite part about your county fair?

Reasons Why I Am Single

I Don’t Want To Be Single

Those who know me know that I am single…

And I don’t want to be.

When I say that I don’t want to be single, most people assume that I am unhappy in my current situation and that I think I need a man. Let’s clear this up… I’m not running around asking guys to date me, nor am I so desperate to find a match that I would just settle for anything. I am happy with my current situation. I am happy with myself. But, I also want to share my happiness with somebody else. I want a partner and a role model for my children. And I want somebody who will be there long after the children move out. God didn’t create people to be alone.

When I talk about not wanting to be single, I’m not looking for somebody to tell me that I am pretty* or a great woman and that I will find somebody one day. I don’t want to be told that I should focus on my children. And I don’t want to be made to feel bad for wanting a relationship.

(*Sidenote: I really hate when people say this because I feel like that puts my worth on my beauty and goes against everything I believe in.)

Online Dating – Been There. Done That.

So, I recently joined eHarmony… It only lasted about 2 months. (Sidenote: I DO NOT recommend them at all!) I was very specific with what I wanted based on the questions they asked. They told me to lower my standards in order to get some matches.

So I did.

And the matches just weren’t working. For one, people rarely responded to messages. There is no way to see when somebody was last active. And I was getting matched with everything I did NOT want.

I know that my circumstances aren’t for everyone. I know that I am what some people do not want. I have kids… I have kids with special needs. I have never been married. And my children don’t share the same father. All that aside, I’ve been thinking about reasons why I am really single. The reasons that sometimes hurt to think about.

Reasons Why I Am Really Single

Reasons Why I am Single by Aduke Schulist

This is what I have come up with… These are the real reasons I am single.. and what I am working on changing (or not).

I’m not outspoken. I don’t speak up for myself and I don’t have a demanding personality. I am very shy which sometimes comes across as being rude or uninterested.

I lack self-esteem (to a certain extent) and fear approaching guys who I think are too good for me. In fact, I don’t approach any guys. I believe in traditional rules saying the guy should ask the girl.

I am too independent. I haven’t ever had somebody to help me do things and it is hard to relinquish some of those roles.

I’m comfortable being single and refuse to settle. I’m not picky, but I know my limits and what I won’t tolerate (abuse, cheating, etc)

I don’t meet new people. The majority of the things I do involve the same small crowds and I have been content with that.

I’ve changed as a person over the years (haven’t we all?!) and I’ve grown into myself and what I believe. I am very passionate in some of these beliefs. I am myself and I’m unapologetic for it.

I want a real relationship, not just some hookup or somebody to do fun things with but have no commitment.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Knowing all of those things, I have some goals to work towards like getting out to meet new people and opening myself up to rejection.

While I have blogged some about being single (mostly focusing on single parenting), I haven’t ever really opened up and shared the genuine struggle that is being a single parent in search of marriage. As I walk this journey I invite you all to read along and share your thoughts or tips.

 

 

5 Vloggers Who Inspire Me

5 Vloggers Who Inspire Me

When I started my vlog channel Aduke Schulist (previously known as Life As A Convert), I didn’t realize how big vlogging already was – or just how big it was going to get. Fast forward a few years, and it seems like everybody is a YouTuber. It’s way too easy to get lost in a sea of subscribe buttons, so I’ve picked out 5 of my favorite vloggers who inspire me to share with you.

Once you have subscribed to my YouTube channel, check out these 5 vloggers who inspire me:

Jesus loving, make up guru, Charis, and her handsome husband Jacob, are some of the first Christian YouTubers I came across. I was pleasantly surprised with how open and unapologetic Charis was/is about her religion. She adores Disney and has such a sweet personality. If you like fashion, Jesus, and relationship goals then you will like her channel.

I came across Julien’s channel in the same manner a lot of other people probably did, through Jenna’s, but he is so much more than Jenna’s boyfriend. His videography skills are amazing and his passion for vlogging shows through in each of his vlogs.

Fellow hairy girl, Alyse seems to share a lot of personality traits with myself. She is adventurous with her body and not afraid to step away from what is deemed normal. Her videos focus on her journey to becoming a better her through health and lifestyle choices.

This family is still new to me, but they quickly became one of my favorites. All too often people want to fake their life for YouTube views, but this family keeps it real, shares it all, and invites you to watch along. They are a Mormon family traveling the world with their 9 (yes NINE!) children and also have a heart for adoption.

Past contestant of Canadian Idol, Mikey has been gaining a lot of popularity lately because of his “I Wear Speedos” parody, but his talent has been around YouTube for a while. I found him after one of his acapella songs. His vlogs are just as enjoyable as his singing. He shares uplifting messages and has a contagious optimistic personality.

If the saying “You are who you hang around is true” then I am miserably failing. I am not nearly as cool, or successful, as these vloggers. Then again, these are just some of my favorite internet peoples.

Who are some of your favorite vloggers?