Fall Bucket List – #ItsFallYall

It’s Fall Y’all! – My Fall Bucket List

Yeah, so it’s been Fall for a minute, but I’m still trying to catch up here! I have so much happening and so many plans. Like most basic girls, Fall is my favorite season. I love the weather, it’s the most gorgeous time to be outside, and the activities are all so much fun. I have a few that I want to accomplish this Fall, so here’s my Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List - 2017 by Aduke Schulist

Family Portraits

I attempted this goal last year, but we kind of skipped over Fall where I live, at least, we skipped over the gorgeous changing of the leaves that I so desperately want in our portraits. I’m hoping this year the trees give me some gorgeous colors as a backdrop for some much needed updated family portraits. It has been YEARS since I got a portrait of myself and the kids, and let’s be honest, the last time they didn’t turn out too well.

Fall Family Portraits circa 2013
Fall Family Portraits circa 2013
Pumpkin Patch

Y’all, my kids have NEVER been to a pumpkin patch. Like, EVER! Sad, right? I think every year I will take, but then something always comes up. I’d love to take them this year.

Bake ALL The Pies!

Fall is equal to pie season for me. Apple pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie.. I want them all! And I want to bake them all.

Apple Pie Cheesecake
Apple Pie Cheesecake
Get Me Some Fall Scents

I am one of those wax cube junkies. I have one in my bathroom and one in my living room at all times. It’s time to switch them to Fall scents.

Confession = I used some of my Fall scents year round.

Okay, maybe I don’t have to complete switch them, but I need to fill up my current stash with some delicious smelling Fall scents. I just love the “leaves” smell. It’s a nice blend of earthy and clean, and I currently don’t have any!

Go On A Hay Ride

Who doesn’t love taking a ride through the woods on a trailer full of hay? Is this just a southern thing? Do other states have hay rides too? Help a girl out here!

Abby with Hay - Berryhill Bike Trail Searcy Arkansas

Have A Bonfire

Our entire area is currently in a burn ban. Unfortunately, this means no fires until that ban is lifted. I’m holding out hope that it will be lifted soon and we can fire up the fire pit and roast some marshmallows.

I guess that’s it… A pretty basic Fall Bucket List. Connect with me on social media (@AdukeSchulist) to see all our fun Fall adventures.

Have you ever been on a hay ride? 

What’s on your Fall Bucket List? 

In case you missed it, here are some of my most recent posts:

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars #Recipe
12 Favorite Blog Posts
White County Fair – 4-H Poultry Chain 2017

 

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.

 

 

March & April 2017 Blog Goals & Report

March & April Blog Report

About 2 months ago, I shared my first ever blog report. In it, I told you guys how I was coming along with this “new” blog and some of the goals I had for the upcoming months. I’m here today to update again and set some more goals.

March started off strong. I had my plan all laid out and must say I stuck to it pretty well.. and then came April and everything went downhill. I had a plan to update with a new post every 4th day. Between writing and promoting the posts that I updated, I was busy! I definitely saw progress though.

Then in April, I didn’t follow the “post every 4th day” schedule I had intended. I missed posting 5 times that month, but still saw a good amount of engagement considering I had half the amount of posts.

March & April Blog Goals and Report

BY THE NUMBERS:

March’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 8 (+5)
# of comments: 127
# of sponsored posts: 1
# of views: 430 (+128)

April’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 4 (-4)
# of comments: 93
# of sponsored posts: 0
# of views: 306 (-124)

Blog Posts Worth Mentioning

In March, my daughter started attending a weight loss clinic. It has helped our entire family take a look at our choices and make healthier ones.

I attended a sponsored event at the Outlets of Little Rock with some fellow bloggers. Who wouldn’t love to get paid to drink Starbucks and shop?!

Then, in April I posted an informative article about the Fertility Awareness Method and how I use it as birth control.

And finally, I revealed my DIY Laundry Room Reveal using items from the Dollar Tree and Big Lots.

Social Media Followers:

I’m going to be honest here.. I’m a little bummed at the lack of progress across my social media platforms. In fact, I went backwards on some of these! I am mostly bummed about Instagram. I put a lot of effort into my Instagram, sharing some of the best images at the most ideal times, and LOST followers. Ugh!

Regarding Twitter: I used to follow everybody who followed me, but then realized I didn’t want to be spammed with blog links / sponsored content every time I went on there. It ultimately led me to using Twitter less and less because I just wasn’t interested in those who I was following and was no longer enjoying it. I cleaned up my list and “unfollowed” a lot of people which led to them unfollowing me also. I really have no problem with that as I’d rather have those who are truly interested in my content as followers and not those that are just there for a follow.

So, here is what my numbers looked like from the end of February until now.

YouTube: 1,024 / 1069 (+45)
Facebook: 1,141 / 1145 (+4)
Twitter: 759 / 741 (-18)
Instagram: 1,945 / 1935 (-10)
Pinterest: 793 / 794 (+1)

Total gain: 50

March & April Goal Check-Up

My goals were:

  • Post at least 6 times (each month)
    • FAIL. I was *this.close* to making this one.
  • Double my page views (from February)
    • FAIL. I was on track in March, but slacked off in April.
  • Get at least 60 comments (each month)
    • SUCCESS! I went beyond this goal.
  • Increase my social media following
    • SUCCESS! Even though I lost followers, my total amount increased, so I am considering this one a win.
  • Use Pinterest more
    • SUCCESS! I’m not sure if this will show on my next report, but I have been using pinterest more and more.

Additionally, I had a goal to create a media kit, and update my privacy policy and disclosure policy which I completed. All in all, I would say not too bad.

May & June Goals

I know we are already nearing the end of May, but humor me here.. These are the goals I have set for May and June.

  • Make my blog a priority! Life has been super busy in other areas and I haven’t set aside enough time to really do what I’ve wanted to with my blog. Now that some things are taken care of (I’m looking at you chicken coop!) I have more time to give to my blog.
  • Continue working on increasing social media following
  • Reach out to a few brands about collaborating
  • Network with other bloggers
  • Guest post on another blog

That about wraps it up. I can’t say I’m disappointed with my progress, especially given the effort I put into it, but I am hoping that May and June look a little better.

Curious what my blog report from January & February looked like? You can see it here.  

How To Be A Blogging Boss (And Stay On Track With Blogging)

How To Be A Blogging Boss (And Stay On Track With Blogging)

Do you know a Blogging Boss? Somebody who does it all, has a super busy life, yet consistently produces quality content? I call these people Blogging Bosses. I picked the brains of some of my favorite blogging bosses and what they told me was all similar. Here is how to be a Blogging Boss and stay on track with blogging.

How To Be A Blogging Boss - Tips to Stay on Track With Blogging by Aduke Schulist

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. 

Plan Ahead

Keep a list of everything that must be done and use it to plan ahead. Prioritize tasks and complete the most important ones first. Use a calendar, app, physical planner, or something that helps you see what needs to be done on a daily basis. Use what fits your lifestyle.

Keep a list of all the “overdue” tasks that need to be done. This includes those things you have been pushing back for weeks or months. Schedule these tasks into your plan. Make it a priority to complete one of these tasks every week until you are caught up.

Write in Batches

If you are anything like me, then it is sometimes hard to sit down and focus on writing a blog post. There are so many distractions and my mind just isn’t in it.

Pick a day to just write posts. You will be amazed at how many posts you can get written in a single day.  When I get those moments where I am really focused and my mind is there, I’ve found it easy to knock out 3 or 4 posts before even getting up. Then…

Schedule Content

Once you have written a few blog posts, schedule them throughout the week or month, depending on how often you publish new articles. When I finally sat down and put together a plan for this blog, I decided that every 4th day I would post an article. This way it is easy for me to keep up with what needs to be done and I am able to schedule posts in advance.

Be Consistent With Images

I recently found this one out the hard way. I always just made an image depending on the mood I was in. This wasn’t good for a lot of reasons. For one, it took a lot of time, and for two, my brand wasn’t easily recognizable by the images I was putting out. When I started using a template that I had created for my images I found it so much easier and less stressful. I felt like I was a blogging boss. Now, all of my images match and it only takes me a few seconds to create an image.

Get up Early

This is not one I find myself doing… like EVER! I’m not a morning person, and getting up early to work is not appealing to me. I haven’t found myself setting alarms yet, but if they say it works, then I probably should.

I am more of the stay up late kind of blogger who is working when the kids are in bed. Plus, my kids are awake the moment they hear noise in the house.

Work Time = Work Time

Stay focused and on task by making work time only for work. Set a timer if you need to, and take short breaks for every 15-20 minutes that you work, but schedule time just for work.

I call myself multitasking, but that’s basically me saying I am not truly focusing on my work when I am working. I tend to have twelve windows and two or three conversations going at anytime. I know I could get a lot more done if I followed this advice consistently and closed out those distractions. Being a single parent who homeschools, I also find this one a little hard. I don’t really have time away from my kids, so interruptions are constant. Perhaps that is where getting up early comes into play.

Be Passionate

There came a point in my blogging career where I felt like I was blogging for everybody else and not for me and I noticed that I basically quit. That’s when I had to reignite the passion I had for blogging and get back to my roots.

If you are passionate about your blog, then it will come easy. But if you aren’t, switch things up until it feels right.

Goals

With all that said, I have some ideas of what I need to work on and I already have some goals on my blog report, but thought I should make a few more goals. These are all things I am committing to completing before my next blog report on May 5th.

  • Create Privacy Policy/Disclosure
  • Create an email list
  • Finish editorial calendar through June
  • Clear 2 sticky notes off of computer (These are lists of overdue tasks. I currently have 9 sticky notes on there and they are all full. Some have been there for a ridiculously long time.)

What are some ways you rock your blog as a blogging boss?

Do you have any overdue tasks?  

 

January & February 2017 Blog Report

January & February Blog Report

Are you comfortable sharing your income with the entire world? I’m not! But, I am all about accountability and progress. I know it’s a trend in the blogging world to share income and traffic reports and while I’m not quite comfortable sharing income reports yet, I thought it would be fun (and a great way to track progress) to share a general blog report.

I will be sharing these bi-monthly along with my goals for the upcoming months. Because this is my first one I am sharing a little bit more. Let’s see how I did with my first blog report…

January & February Blog Report by Aduke Schulist

By the Numbers:

2016’s Numbers:
Blog Created: September 23, 2016
# of Blog Posts in 2016: 11
# of comments in 2016: 21
# of sponsored posts: 1
# of views: 1,088

January’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 2
# of comments: 21
# of sponsored posts: 0
# of views: 152

February’s Numbers:
# of Posts: 4
# of comments: 3
# of sponsored posts: 0
# of views: 302

Note-worthy Happenings:

At the end of February, I did a slight re-vamp of my blog, making it more user-friendly and doing some customizations to my theme.

I streamlined my images, not only making them easier to create, but also matching my branding.

Blog Posts Worth Mentioning

We announced we are adopting in: We are… ADOPTING! – Single Mom Adoption

..and answered some questions that stemmed from that announcement in: What Are You Adopting? (And other questions answered)

I shared the start of a DIY project in: DIY Laundry Room Makeover (In Progress)

and created a new series answering some questions single moms always get in: How Do I Do It? Financially? #SingleMom #Budget

Social Media Followers:

I made no attempts to grow my social media following professionally other than using social media on a personal level. I did reach a YouTube milestone. Our channel (where we started regularly posting videos in November of 2013) reached 1,000 subscribers. While I do generate an income from YouTube, I do not put any professional effort into it and am very humbled by each and every one of those subscribers who find interest in our daily life happenings.

YouTube: 1,024
Facebook: 1,141
Twitter: 759
Instagram: 1,945
Pinterest: 793

March & April Goals

As far as my March and April goals, I hope to:

  • Post at least 6 times (each month)
  • Double my page views (from February)
  • Get at least 60 comments (each month)
  • Increase my social media following
  • Use Pinterest more

Are you a blogger who does income or blog reports? I’d love to see yours. Feel free to share them in the comments.