Focus Baby


Once upon a time we were dedicated to paying our house off early.  And then disaster of the v worst kind struck and all plans for everything were abandoned.  This is another one of those things that I knew Larry wanted for me and that is to have this house paid off.  With a normal salary it wasn't that hard to send extra money each month toward the principal balance.  But now it is a different story. 



But the other day I thought to myself why not?  Just do the best I can and see what happens.  The issue, for me at least, is the thought that I'm making the wrong decision and if I've learned anything this past year is that best laid plans.....

 


But I've made my decision and I'll do my best to let the worry go.  A little money applied consistently can make a big difference. Discipline will be required.  Signs have been placed around the house to keep me focused.  I wonder if I'll find them annoying after awhile?  Right now they feel good.  x
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how i make money on this blog










Hello and happy Saturday.  I'm hoping this post is not going to be too long or too rambling.  There's a lot to cover here and I don't want to leave anything out.  So let's start at the beginning.  😮

I started this blog in July of 2009.  So wow, the blog is 10 now! When I started, I never in a million years thought anyone would read it let alone make money on it.  My goal was to share simple living tips and present a life that could be lived beautifully on v little money.  And that's what I awkwardly continue to do.




 


It was about 4 years ago that people began really monetizing their blogs.  I was interested but I don't have great computer skills and most of the programs that allow you to make money take computer knowledge to just install and learn your way around their sites.  My first ads were through google ads and they are still here.  That's the ad you see in between each post.  I remember the push back when I installed them.  Readers were outraged that they would see an ad for lunch meat on my vegan cooking blog.  I had to explain that the ad they saw was following them, not me.  I will still get emails telling me how unethical it is to have that sort of ad.  I think we all know now exactly how those ads work.  If you look at a dress at Nordstrom, it now appears on your IG or Facebook or wherever.  So I've stuck with google ads because they are not that offensive and I make a small amount each month when you guys click something of interest to you. You don't even have to buy it. I average $30-50 a month from them.  When I've accumulated $100, they deposit it directly into my bank account.






Just last year I met the requirements of Reward Style and they allowed me to begin placing their ads on my blog.  I like this better because I get to choose the ads.  You see them on my sidebar 👉

I absolutely love finding beautiful things online and showing them to you.  I'm not offended by them and I hope you aren't either.  I do research the items, like where it's made or the fabric and the reviews.  If I like it then I'll post it or even sometimes buy it myself. I can make more on Reward Style because the retailer pays me a small commission.  This dress I'm shamelessly promoting is a perfect example.  I bought it at H&M for $19 and I believe the commission is almost $2.  So you can see I'm not getting rich but I would say I average $100 on a good month.  Btw - love love love this dress.  It's cotton/linen blend, hides a world of sins and very well made.  I think the stock is getting way low...!




There is a great deal of pressure from these advertising companies for bloggers to promote their products.  You may have noticed that a lot of blogs are plastered with ads now.  They have ads in-between paragraphs, pop up ads and big banner ads.  Those aren't for me.  I sometimes get confused as to whether I'm reading the blog or the ad!  But I also recognize that this is full time work for many people and they need to make money writing.  And trust me, it isn't exactly a picnic trying to come up with content if you HAVE to.  I don't so my ads and approach to blogging is a bit gentler.  There are bloggers out there making millions each year, they have entire teams working for them.  I know this for a fact because I have a close friend who worked for a young LA fashion blogger.  She's very popular and is making multi-millions now.  So good for her!

So that is how I make money.  I like that I'm an old lady blog and I started blogging about fashion over 50 and now it's over 60 and with any luck I'll get to continue.  Thanks for reading, as always, this blog is nothing without you.  x
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the simplicity of one





Before I get started writing about the simplicity of one, can I just say how much I love the above arrangement?  Seriously, since we moved here that area, situation, whatever you want to call it has made me crazy.  For the record, that spot isn't crazy, I am 😁.  Anyway, there is just something about the unfussiness of it that soothes me everytime I walk in the house.

Ok, soooo, the simplicity of one is nothing new.  Like why do we keep 2 potato peelers, or 25 pairs of black shoes or 52 tubes of red lipstick?  I understand the less stuff lying around makes life a lot easier and peaceful.

But since Larry passed away I'm now on a fixed income.  Can't believe I even typed that but it's true.  Ugh, not the fixed income, I just miss him so much😞.  Being on a fixed income means I now have limits on my money.  I quit my job to take care of L and really don't want to go back and re-build my clientele and all that goes with that.  So I've decided to learn to live within the limits of this income and the limits of my home and garden. 

When I wrote out my budget I thought of several different ways I could go about it and settled on the idea of one.  What if I just filled my gas tank once a month?  Could I live within that limit? Turns out I can.  Can I do one load of wash per week?  Why yes I can.  Can I go to the market once a week, that's easy.  What else can I cut down to one?  The list is endless and it has simplified so much for me.  I used to run errands and toss clothes in the wash and ran to the grocery whenever I needed anything.  Now a lot more thought goes into my daily routine and it works for me.  I realize this won't work for everyone but maybe it could be the simplicity of 2 or 3 or what works for you.  The idea is to live purposefully and think before just mindlessly going about your day.  The best part is, with a little thought, I'm making it on my one paycheck a month.

Also, before I go, I want to thank you all again for your love and support.  Would you like more posts about money?  It's one of my favorite subjects but talking about it is generally frowned upon by society.  So let me know what you'd like to see more of here on the blog.  I make a v small amount of money writing it and will even tell you exactly how I make money here if that interests you.  Take care and have a great Sunday.  x
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simplifying my pantry




Hi honey.  I recently simplified my pantry because it had become complicated. That's the thing about chemo and hospice, boy does it mess with your appetite.  So if Larry had a craving for anything, I went out and bought it right away.  Most times it was just one bite and nope, not going down.  So the pantry was full of things I'd never eat.  These pictures are not particularly styled nor is the pantry super clean.  I plan to take everything out and give it a good wash and fresh coat of paint.  But who knows when that'll happen, if ever so this is what you get 😀.


On the left side are my seeds, nuts, oats, beans and flours.  I found those antique pestles at an estate sale for $2 each.  And my French Laundry cookbook is ready for inspiration.  I'll get there one day🙏.


Along the back wall is a tray full of vinegars, some tomatoes and basil from the garden and lemons from Alex & B's garden.  Sparkling water, potatoes and pastas. The broom is from The Laundress.



Now directly to the right of that is this v. difficult side to photograph.  But the top holds my dutch ovens and a waffle maker I never use.  The shelf below holds canned goods.



Below is my little coffee station, my Dualit toaster I recently bought at an estate sale for $10! Each one is hand made in England, steal of the century.  And my Vitamix.

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Even more difficult to photograph is the bottom.  I have 4 baskets and each one holds like things to make things simple.  Top left is baking supplies.  Top right is packages of nutritional yeast, granola, risotto.  Bottom left are some paper goods like kids birthday party things.  And some cat food for the stray cats I've been feeding 😺. Bottom right is what I call my emergency basket.  If I lose power or get sick or can't get to the market, I have things to tide me over for a few days.  Soups, canned chili, ramen, granola bars, soymilk.  And that my friends is my simplified pantry. x
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me and my garden




Gosh I'm sorry this post got published without me finishing it.  I have no idea how that even happened.  But here I am and I'm ok-ish.  So that tub filled with hydrangeas is a beautiful sight.  I love them so much but they are a struggle to grow in my garden.  Last year due to circumstances I wasn't able to give them the loving care they need and so they didn't make it.  But my darling friend Janet delivered a big plant to me recently.



It's enormous and the blooms were so heavy I had to cut them off and put them in a tub of cool water to revive them. 






Once revived I was able to enjoy them inside and now they are drying in the basement.  The plant is now happily adapting in the garden and so that is my story today.  But really the story here is that when I am drooping with exhaustion sometimes slowing down and a cool bath is all I need.  It's so comforting to me how in tune I am with my garden now.  What it needs, I need.  Sometimes lots of tender loving care and other times I just need to be left alone.  I wake up every morning and can't wait to get outside and see what happened or didn't happen overnight.  I'm most content in my garden.  Can you relate? x
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